Express & Star

Campaign for more women taxi drivers in Wolverhampton launched

A drive to encourage more women in Wolverhampton to become taxi drivers has been launched by a councillor, after figures revealed that 97 per cent of the 20,000 working in the city were men.

Last updated

Councillor Wendy Dalton called for a campaign to recruit more women into the trade at a meeting of the council’s regulatory committee on Wednesday, which was also International Women’s Day.

She told members that she felt having more women taxi drivers would bring about “a greater assurance” for all passengers.

“Statistics for taxi driver numbers in Wolverhampton show us that 97 per cent of them are men,” she said.

“Speaking as a woman, I’d like to see more women taxi drivers as I think this would give all of us more assurance when taking a taxi somewhere, particularly if someone is travelling alone.

“What campaign could this council put forward to have an equality and a balance of more women in the profession? This issue is very relevant, especially as this week is International Women’s Week.”

Greg Bickerdike, the council’s licensing manager, said: “The initiative of working with women is something we are aware of and we are looking at how we can support this and encourage more women into the trade. We do have women who are in this profession, so it will involve speaking to them and understanding the benefits that a career as a licensed driver can provide them with – particularly around flexibility.

“And then the next step would be using that information to promote it to other women who may be fancy a career change, or women who are out of work, in order for us to get more female drivers licensed with us. That is something we are aware of and are working on, so I will be reporting back on it.”

Councillor Dalton said she would look forward to seeing a campaign for more women taxi drivers being implemented in the city.

The regulatory committee also approved the purchase of personal safety alarms for all vehicles licensed as a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle in the city. Members also endorsed the ‘Safety Tips for Taxi and Private Hire Drivers’ guidance, produced to help workers in the trade stay safe.

Following consultation, the council obtained quotes from three companies. The winning bidder with £41,600 for the supply of 20,000 alarms was JNE Security Ltd.