TAXI drivers are finding a significant downturn in custom during lockdown, which could increase further if the tightening measure on “essential travel” is extended past December 2.

Lesley Borthwick, 57, former secretary of the Worcester Taxi Drivers Association and taxi driver at B and H Cars in Worcester, said: “I know many of our drivers who we sub contract to are finding it very difficult at the moment as hardly anyone is using taxis.

“We have contracts for disabled members of the community who need to get to places, and we have been getting the children of keyworkers to and from school.

“I know some of our drivers have had to deliver food instead for a source of income as work has dried up.

“If the lockdown continues past December 2 then it will be even more difficult for many who are already finding things difficult.

“All self-employed people are in the same boat in this pandemic and the Government should be doing more to help the self-employed.

“We do everything we need to do including using fogging machines in cars and anti-bacterial sprays and I want to say my drivers have gone above and beyond during this pandemic and I want to thank them for their hard work and dedication.”

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Cameron Khan, who is a taxi driver for Malvern Taxis based in Bellevue Terrace, said he has experienced a drop in passenger numbers.

Mr Khan aged 41 said: “ It’s really quiet in the job at the moment and I’m still picking up passengers but probably at around 10 to 20 per cent of what I did before lockdown started.

“This is my only job and I’m worried for the future.”

Richard Udall, city cllr and chair of the city council’s taxi licensing committee, said: “Our local taxi trade has really had it tough. Most drivers are self-employed have been struggling; they have lost a lot of business. I hope when lockdown ends on 2nd December, they will gain much more business.”