LONG-SERVING taxi drivers are giving up as their takings plummet in the coronavirus crisis.

Cabbies who have been plying the streets of Brighton for more than three decades say they have “never had it this bad”.

Some are making as little as £5 a day as they scour the streets looking for a job. Others sit at home waiting for a call.

Some cannot afford to pay the rent on their cabs and have now given up altogether.

Cindy Tehrani has been a cabbie in Brighton since the 1980s.

“We’ve never had it this bad,” she said.

“It was a challenge even before – now, we’ve been hit every which way.

“I went to work one day last week and took £5 all day. I spent £2.50 on a coffee.

“In three hours, I had one call and the job went to another driver. It’s just luck of the draw.”

She said drivers who once had contracts with schools and offices have been especially hard hit.

Those hoping to pick up commuters at the controversial new rank behind Brighton Station have been struggling too.

“I see lots of taxis at the rank, but very few with passengers,” Cindy said.

“I spent three hours at Hove Station the other day.

“I think I saw one person get off the train.

“People are all working from home – there are no commuters.

“It’s very worrying – it is for everybody in the business.

“I know taxi drivers who have given up looking for work on the streets and just wait at home because it’s not cost effective.”

Other experienced drivers have given up altogether.

One cabbie of 33 years, who did not wish to be named, quit because he could not afford the rent payments on his Hackney carriage.

He does not see the business picking up any time soon.

He said: “Some drivers think it’s going to come back in six months, but as soon as the self-employed Government support scheme stops, they’ll be struggling to find work.

“When that money dries up, I don’t know what they’ll do. I’m going to have to find something else. I might take deliveries or work for Uber Eats.

“I’ve been a cabbie here for more than 30 years now. I’m one of the few drivers with a badge for Brighton as well as Hove.

“I just don’t see things picking up.”