More women becoming taxi drivers, says private hire firm

Taxi driving may not traditionally be a popular job for women, but a private hire firm in Shropshire say more women than ever are getting behind the wheel.

Bosses at Go Carz, the largest taxi firm in Shropshire, say many of their new drivers are women - and they love the job.

Carl Wilday, managing director at Go Carz, said he had been in the industry for 20 years and the number of female drivers was at an all-time high.

He said: “When I started driving taxis in the 1990s it was very much a male-dominated industry, I must admit.

“And to be honest it has stayed that way for much of the past 20 years, so It’s been really interesting to see the growth of female drivers in recent times.

“It’s got to the stage now that we are getting just as many applications from women as we are men, which is fantastic.”

One of the new drivers at Go Carz is Sarah Brannigan, who left an office job to drive a taxi in Telford.

She said: “I was sick of working in an office day in, day out, I love driving and liked the idea of being my own boss.

“I love it. It’s the best thing I ever did and I only wish I had done it sooner. My advice to anyone thinking about it would be to give it a try - a lot of people think you have to work late nights and weekends, but you can pretty much work whenever you want.”

One of the most experienced drivers at Go Carz is Wendy Tyson, who started taxi driving in Melton Mowbray in 1982 - where she was the first ever woman to hold a taxi licence.

She said: “It’s great because the flexibility is so good, and I have noticed more women joining up recently.

“It’s an interesting job and you get to meet people and visit lots of different places, so I would definitely recommend it to both men and women to be honest.”

Go Carz managing director, Carl Wilday, said there were a number of reasons behind the increase in women drivers.

“I think it’s a combination of factors,” he said. “The traditional image of taxi drivers sitting on mouldy sofas in dusty offices smoking cigarettes is simply not true any more.

“The taxi industry is full of new technology, which has not only made it a more attractive place to work, but it’s made it safer too.

“Whereas some women may have felt unsafe driving a taxi in the past, the modern-day tracking devices and security arrangements have improved safety immensely.

“Certainly all of the female drivers here at Go Carz love the job. They enjoy the flexibility of being able to work when they want, and we get really positive feedback from customers too.”

Go Carz is currently looking for more drivers as demand continues to grow across Shropshire and the Midlands.

For more details about driving opportunities, call 01743 454265 or email [email protected]