Licence fees for black cab and private hire taxis have been cut by Wolverhampton Council in a bid to help firms and drivers hit by coronavirus.

Councillor Alan Bolshaw, chairman of the council’s licensing committee, said: “The fees for taxi and private hire licence renewals have been reduced on average by around 30%. A driver renewing a badge will now only pay £40, with the associated vehicle fee being reduced to £135.”

He continued: “We know that many drivers and their families have experienced great hardship during the lockdown. Nevertheless, they have endeavoured to provide a vital service for key workers. We will continue to do everything we can to help the drivers during this difficult period, within the rules allowed by legislation.”

The changes apply to hackney carriages and private hire vehicles. The one-year driver renewal fee has been cut from £59 to £40, while two-year driver renewal fees have been reduced from £110 to £75, and three-year renewal fees from £140 to £100.

The annual cost to licence a vehicle less than 10 years old, has reduced from £185 to £135. Wolverhampton Wolverhampton Council has exploited the Deregulation Act by issuing large numbers of licences to drivers across the UK. The council issued nearly 12,000 taxi licences in 2018, though only 7% of them were for drivers in the city. Nearly half of the total was issued to drivers in Birmingham, with Wolverhampton undercutting most other councils’ fee structure.