Veezu, the UK’s largest taxi and private hire vehicle technology innovator, is asking for understanding and patience from passengers during the autumn and winter months as widespread driver shortages across the industry impact the company.
Ryan Owen, Strategy & Implementation Director at Veezu said: “Regrettably, passengers are having to wait longer than normal. We are taking all the steps we can to increase the number of licensed drivers to match the high demand of journeys by the public. Just like within the road haulage industry there is a nationwide shortage of licensed private hire drivers. We ask for patience as we partner with new and additional drivers to meet resurgent demand.”
Veezu – which operates five regional brands - is looking for 4000 additional drivers to partner with their regional brands across England and Wales to meet the current bookings demand, which is expected to increase as the nights draw in and the weather becomes wetter and colder.
During the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of registered taxi and private hire vehicle drivers have left the industry or retired. During Covid many authorities stopped processing applications and have only recently restarted the process, but it will take time to licence sufficient driver partners to satisfy the high level of demand and this is affecting all private hire operators in the UK.
Ryan Owen continues: “It’s a great time to partner with Veezu and our regional brands. Driver partners are self-employed and have total flexibility to work the hours they want. This autumn and winter we anticipate the demand for bookings will surpass pre-COVID levels, there is good money to be made driving.”
Since lockdown restrictions eased and people began going about their daily lives again, demand has increased and is putting pressure on operators who match bookings with available self-employed driver partners.
The high demand for bookings, coupled with calls about existing bookings, has seen tens of thousands of additional calls each weekend being received by several regional Journey Booking Centres across the country. Subsequently, Veezu is recruiting call advisors to help manage the expectations of those wanting to travel.
Ryan Owen concludes: “We are doing everything we possibly can as quickly as we can. We hope the public can understand that the private hire industry is facing severe shortages and can empathise with our situation.”