Liverpool City Region Combined authority has established a £1.5m fund to help taxi drivers across Merseyside who have been hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Tony McDonough reports
Taxi drivers across the Liverpool city region will get access to a £1.5m fund to help them cover the cost of their licences.
Both hackney and private hire drivers in Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton have seen their trade nosedive during the COVID-19 crisis. With few tourists, bars shut and restaurants on restricted hours fares are harder to find.
City region leaders have been campaigning for the Government to increase the amount of financial support they are providing for the self employed and freelancers impacted by restrictions – many of whom are still not eligible for any of the national support schemes.
The funding will be allocated proportionately to each local authority, according to the number of licensed taxi drivers in their area. The fund will enable all of the city region’s local authorities to introduce schemes which benefit local taxi drivers in addition to what is available to them through national support schemes.
The details of how the funding will be issued to taxi drivers are currently being finalised and further information will be available shortly on each local authority website. It is expected that payments will be made before Christmas.
In a joint statement the leaders and mayors of the Liverpool city region said: “We recognise the hardship experienced by our area’s taxi drivers, who have seen their trade seriously affected by the Coronavirus restrictions.
“As leaders and mayors, we are continuing to press the Government for financial support packages that work for everyone who has seen their livelihood affected by Covid-19 restrictions.
“We know this fund can only make a small contribution but wanted to make this available as a gesture of support for a sector that has been hit hard without adequate Government support.”