SNP MSP Ruth Maguire has expressed her delight that taxi and private hire drivers in North Ayrshire will have access to three times the amount of Scottish Government support than they did last year.

Eligible drivers will be able to claim a £1,500 grant to cover fixed costs, boosting the support available to them by the Scottish Government.

A total fund of £57million has been available to taxi and private hire drivers – three times more than the allocated funding in December.

Commenting, Ms Maguire said: “I am delighted the SNP Scottish Government has increased the funding available to taxi and private hire drivers. Many of these drivers in North Ayrshire have gone above and beyond the call of duty by providing transport for key workers and taking people safely to hospital appointments.

“This substantial increase in support for them is the recognition they deserve in what has been a tough time for the industry due to the lockdown restrictions.

“Despite the restrictions, many fixed costs have still remained for drivers, such as general maintenance, licence plate fees, rental fees and insurance payments and the increase in funding will cover these expensive costs.

“I would urge the local council to contact firms quickly to ensure they can receive the money in their account as soon as possible.”

UPDATE: The £1,500 grant for taxi and private hire drivers is now available to drivers who have received state benefits, including Universal Credit, at any time since March 2020, as long as they meet all remaining criteria.

More info on eligibility can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-taxi-and-private-hire-driver-support-fund/