London's congestion charging scheme and the growth and survival of the minicab sector

Nnamdi O. Madichie*, Nicholas A. Alli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although new businesses are at the heart of economic growth, their survival rates have been rather abysmal. While Frankish et al. (2006) - in their paper Charting the Valley of Death - provided a revised 'proportional hazards model' in their consideration of business survival and closure, Langdon's (2006) research on the business birthrate strategy and economic development highlighted the failures of the public sector and policy makers with regards to micro businesses as a high priority matter. However, none of these studies considered the candidature of the minicab sector as a possible new venture with rather high and largely externally driven, mortality rates. Using in-depth interviews and the narratives of minicab operators in London, we evaluate the claim that London's congestion charging scheme introduced on 17 February 2003 has been a blessing to this latent small business sector. Our primary focuses is to evaluate the impact of London congestion charging scheme on the acclaimed uncharged fares category (i.e., minicabs in this case). We conclude the paper by suggesting that this sector is worthy of consideration in any impact analysis and/or assessment of the charge scheme - especially as they 'chart their valley of death'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-382
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Business growth
  • Business survival
  • Congestion charging
  • Minicabs
  • Small and medium sized enterprises
  • SMEs
  • London
  • UK
  • United Kingdom
  • Congestion charge impact
  • Traffic charges


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