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Covid-19: Liverpool's 'valued' taxi drivers to get £210 grant

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image captionLiverpool has 3,886 licensed drivers, the council said

Thousands of taxi drivers in Liverpool are to be offered grants of up to £210 to help them deal with coronavirus restrictions.

The city has 3,886 licensed drivers, who have been "hit hard" by the decline of the hospitality industry in recent months, Liverpool City Council said.

As a result, the council has approved funds of £663,400 for the grants.

One driver, who asked to remain anonymous, said he would refuse the amount offered, as it was "an insult".

Since 14 October, the city has been in tier three, which means pubs must shut unless they serve substantial meals.

The grants will see Hackney cab and private hire vehicle drivers given the £40 cost of their driver badge, plus a further £170 for their vehicle plate if they own the cab, a council spokesman said.

'Financial wellbeing'

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said the taxi trade was "a valued part of the city's economy, particularly as they are among the first people that visitors to our city come into contact with".

"This is our way of doing what we can to assist them during these unprecedented times," he added.

The anonymous driver said trade was "suffering due to a lack of business", but as he rented his vehicle, he would only receive £40.

"This, to me, is an insult and I will refuse the pathetic offer," he said.

He added that he would prefer to donate the money to the school meals fund the council announced earlier.

Unite union spokesman Tommy McIntyre said his members were "grateful" for the funds.

"It is not just the financial wellbeing of our drivers that is at stake, but their mental health and the impact on their families," he said.

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