Taxis and private hire vehicles

Briefing
London taxi and cyclist

Taxis and private hire vehicles

Headline Message 
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles will often transport a cycle, provided that there's enough space.
  • The service is particularly useful in emergencies or at night, e.g. for anyone worried about personal security on a late ride home; for cyclists suffering mechanical problems; and after long rides or train journeys.
Policy Key Facts 
  • Regulations under the Disability Discrimination Act require all taxis (but not private hire vehicles) to be capable of accommodating people with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs. This provision means that the vehicles approved by the licensing authority (i.e. the local council) can normally accommodate one or two standard solo cycles.
  • In practice, cycles can be carried in many of the vehicles operated by private hire companies - i.e. in 'people carriers' or estate cars.
  • Usually, cyclists have to hold on to their bike inside a cab, but it is possible to provide fittings on and in some services to keep bikes safe and secure.
  • In Denmark, the law requires that there is provision for cycle carriage by taxis, and cycle racks are carried by every cab.
  • Privately funded research once suggested that:
    • at least 20% of London cyclists use taxis to deal with breakdowns and other unforeseen events (although with variable rates of success);
    • over 30% of female cyclists would use a taxi if it provided a safer and more convenient way to get home late at night;
    • many non-cyclists would be more likely to cycle if they knew they could take their bike with them in a taxi.

Cycling UK welcomes feedback on any taxi service already offering a formal, guaranteed facility to carry cycles.

Cycling UK View 
  • Where taxi and private hire vehicles are adapted to accommodate wheelchairs, operators should allow for cycle carriage too as a matter of policy.
  • Where no special adaptations for wheelchairs have had to be made, but there's enough space, private hire vehicle operators should adopt policies that allow for cycle carriage.
  • Taxi and private hire vehicle operators should consider fitting external cycle racks, or the means to carry cycles safely and securely inside the cab (i.e .covers and straps).
If your cycle breaks down, or it's late at night - or you're just too tired to complete your journey - knowing that you can take your bike the rest of the way by taxi can be a very reassuring thought.