During the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 a lot of drivers were forced to take on alternative employment.
Many did not return to driving taxis.
Unfortunately, a lot of our drivers (along with many others from all driving sectors) were told by our government that they were no longer welcome in our country, in line with new Brexit legislation.
Effect on the business
With reduced driver numbers due to the above reasons our service has been severely compromised. We used to have a council contract to provide transportation to schools for children in vulnerable sectors. Due to our reduced driver numbers we were unable to meet the needs of the contract and voluntarily gave up the contract so that we could get back to providing a service to our customer base in the town.
We also provide passenger transport services for the NHS. This involves taking and collecting very ill patients from hospitals who would otherwise not have anybody to do it for them. This is something that is very close to our hearts at All The 8's because without us they would have to find their own way to or from hospital for treatment.
The number of drivers that we use for these jobs are usually kept to less than half of those we have available, but recently the number of patients requiring transport has significantly increased while our driver numbers has remained the same.
This has meant that the number of cars we have available for the town has been severely affected and we have had no choice but to cancel bookings due to having no cars available while on trips to specialist treatment wards in London, Cambridge, Southend and others.
What are we doing about it?
We are desperately trying to recruit more drivers, but there just aren't enough available in the town any more!
We recently attempted a recruitement campaign to entice new drivers by paying the registration fees, but even that didn't help.
We are trying very hard to get our driver numbers back to where they were before the above problems so please bear with us.
2022 and going forward are hard times for everybody, not just us. Fuel prices are soaring but we have taken the decision NOT to raise our fares again in the hope that the prices will come down again. These extra costs are being met by our drivers and by us.
A final word for now...
We really are sorry that we can't be as efficient as we were before the country started to struggle, but we are not alone. All businesses are suffering in many ways.
We appreciate that we need to try harder and we ARE, but law and council rules cannot be broken. Our drivers can only work a certain number of hours before they become a danger to themselves and others through fatigue. We cannot and WILL NOT force them to break the rules, so we really have got our hands tied for the time being, until we get more drivers.
We do understand this is very frustrating for our customers. it is for us too. PLEASE bear with us in these very difficult times. We are trying VERY hard to make things better.
All the 8's management.