As the general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) for the past eight years, Steve McNamara represents around 11,000 black cab drivers in London, making it the largest organisation of its kind.
The LTDA has served as the professional and authoritative voice of London taxi drivers for over 50 years, working to ensure that its members’ voices are heard, protecting the interests of the taxi trade and maintaining the high professional standards of the iconic black cab industry in the capital.
Since the start of the lockdown, the Black Cab industry has been decimated with only 10% of London’s 20,000 cab drivers currently working.
While the City of London has been pedestrianising the streets of the capital and reducing the capacity on the roads encouraging more people to walk and cycle, the taxi industry looks to be in a devastating situation. The future of the service is in serious jeopardy with few tourists or workers venturing into the city and a majority of employees being told they have to work from home.
The Government has advised people only to travel when necessary which forced Steve to write to Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock to call for urgent financial support. Black Cabs are the backbone of London and are keeping businesses and communities moving, and they will still be called for once this pandemic comes to a conclusion.
Yet at this moment, with only 13% of office space being used in London and the arrivals and drop-offs at Heathrow virtually non-existent, business has been halted. Customers are seemingly decreasing, and so are the number of drivers. Nearly 1,000 cab drivers have surrendered their licenses and it is looking more like desperate times for the industry.
Join us as we chat with Steve about the impact of WFH, the decrease in tourists, road closures, financial support for cabbies and transport policy for London in a post-Coronavirus world.