The GMB have called for private hire drivers to be given extra support and classed as an essential service, warning that the sector is “crumbling”.
The union has written to the Department for Transport calling for help, saying the sector was only just beginning to recover from lockdown.
GMB members working in private hire transport NHS patients, care and local authority workers and deliver essential school services, and are often the only form of transport for people with disabilities, yet many are now unable to drive, said the GMB.
National officer Mick Rix said: “The private hire industry has been hammered by the pandemic.
“Just as it begins to recover from the devastating effects of lockdowns, drivers are unable to work because they cannot get fuel.
“These drivers take patients to hospital, take children to school and are often the only way people with disabilities can get around.
“Private hire drivers are on their knees. They need help. We urge the Department for Transport to enable taxi and private hire drivers to be classed an essential service.”