Taxis and private hire vehicles

Cherry Allan's picture
London taxi and cyclist
London taxi and cyclist
Headline Messages: 
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles will often transport a cycle, provided that space is available.
  • The regulations under the Disability Discrimination Act require all taxis (but not private hire vehicles) to be capable of accommodating people with disabilities - including people who use wheelchairs. This provision means that the vehicles approved by the licensing authority (the local council) can normally accommodate 1-2 standard solo cycles. Current users generally hold on to the cycle inside the taxi to address the issue of safety and security.
  • Cycles can in practice be carried in many of the vehicles operated by private hire companies - i.e. in 'people movers' or 'estate' cars. In a local situation, taxis and private hire vehicles may provide a convenient late-night service to young people/students, or serve major transport interchanges acting as a link in the cyclists’ journey.
  • In Denmark, the law requires that there is provision for cycle carriage by taxis, and cycle racks are carried by every cab.

Current developments

CTC and LCC (London Cycling Campaign) are endorsing work currently in progress to develop a reliable and consistent system that secures a cycle in a taxi and protects both it and the taxi from damage. We expect to see this rolling out in 2013 in larger cities and towns.  CTC welcomes feedback on any taxi service already offering a formal, guaranteed facility to carry cycles.

From privately funded research carried out to assess a London-wide potential, it was noted that  20% of London cyclists are already using taxis to deal with breakdowns and other unforeseen events, with variable rates of success.  In the same survey, over 30% of the female cyclists said they would use a taxi if it provided a safer and more convenient way to get home late at night.

Many non-cyclists also said that being able to take their bike on a taxi would encourage them to make use of a cycle.  Based on the survey results, estimates of the additional revenue potential have been discussed with the taxi trade, and prospects are encouraging. 

CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • Where taxi and private hire vehicles are adapted to accommodate wheelchairs, a policy should be adopted that allows for the carriage of cycles.
  • Where no special adaptations have been made, but there is space to accommodate a cycle, private hire vehicles should have a policy of carrying bikes if there is a perceived demand.
  • The fitting of cycle racks to taxis and private hire vehicles, or means to carry cycles inside the cab (i.e .covers and securing straps) should be investigated as a solution to carrying cycles.


Publication Date: 
November 2012
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