Written by Andrew Ward

Taxi bosses have warned the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on business has been “catastrophic”.

Clydebank Taxis said they have seen significant damages to all aspects of the business and said more financial support from the Scottish Government was needed.

Henry Glasgow, the firm’s director, told the Post many drivers have quit because of impact of Covid-19 on the transport industry.

The government says it’s considering extra backing for self-employed taxi drivers.

Mr Glasgow said: “It has been catastrophic. The impact it has had on this longstanding, successful business has had impacts on technological and new vehicle investment, job redundancies, livelihoods and staff wellbeing.

“In order to protect our drivers and customers, we have fully complied with government guidelines, at significant cost to our drivers and the business.

“The government has provided no financial support, but ongoing costs continue to squeeze the life from both drivers and businesses.”

Taxi firms have continued to operate throughout the pandemic, but many drivers have been forced to call time on their driving careers.”

Mr Glasgow said: “There has been a mass exodus of drivers as many people simply just want to provide for their families which is understandable.”

He said the Scottish Government needed to step in and save what he said is a “vital part” of the transport industry.

Mr Glasgow said: “With the demise of late night economies, drivers have had to make alternative provisions.

“There have been many decisions taken that do not compute for the vast majority of the public.

“We simply need to understand the logic and, above all else, the exit strategy to rebuild our business, local economies and lives.”

Willie Thomson, regional officer at the Unite trade union, said: “The continuing restriction has quite simply decimated the taxi trade.

“As we approach the winter period, we would normally be very, very busy. But quite frankly, the way we see the next few months going, that just won’t be the case.

“There has been significant help put in to other forms of transport, such as bus operators and the railway system. We are calling for that same support.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We welcome the extension of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme so drivers can obtain 80 per cent of previous earnings and the Economy Secretary has written to the Chancellor calling for this to be extended to the recently self-employed.

“We are currently considering further support for fixed costs pressures on self-employed taxi drivers and others, as well as providing the new Strategic Framework Business Fund.”

“Throughout this unprecedented economic crisis we have listened to businesses and acted quickly to offer support, which now exceeds £2.3billion.”