Coun­cil­lors can’t agree to 3% rise in taxi fares

Fall­ing petrol prices among rea­sons for de­ci­sion

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Lost Property - By Sam Wil­liams

Coun­cil­lors have op­posed a 3% in­crease for taxi fares across the bor­ough.

The pro­pos­als for the an­nual Hack­ney car­riage fares re­view were out­lined in a re­port to Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil’s (ABC) li­cens­ing and health and safety com­mit­tee.

The 3% in­crease would see the cost of jour­neys of two miles rise from £6.20 to £6.40, the cost of jour­neys for five miles rise from £12.40 to £12.60, and the price of 10-mile jour­neys in­crease from £22.60 to £23.20.

How­ever, for a num­ber of dif­fer­ent rea­sons, in­clud­ing the de­crease in the price of petrol over the past year, mem­bers did not ap­prove the rec­om­men­da­tion to in­crease prices.

A re­port from the meet­ing said: “The com­mit­tee con­sid­ered that given where Ash­ford al­ready sat na­tion­ally in terms of its fares, and in a mar­ket where fuel costs were drop­ping markedly, it was dif­fi­cult to sup­port an in­crease to the fares.”

Coun­cil­lors at the same meet­ing also heard that cab driv­ers hop­ing to re­new their li­cences will face fee rises this year, but only by £2.

A re­port states: “Due to the de­crease in the num­ber of new ap­pli­ca­tions com­ing through, it is pro­posed that there are no changes to the [pri­vate hire] fees.”

The only ex­cep­tion is the cost of ve­hi­cle li­cences, which is to in­crease from £283 to £285 for a re­newal and from £303 to £305 for a new li­cence.

In ad­di­tion, oper­a­tors’ li­cences have been in­creased pro­por­tion­ally to re­flect the fact that they have in­creased from three to five years in length.

The re­port also states that there will be a small in­crease, of be­tween 0.43% and 0.08%, for gam­bling li­cences.

This would see the an­nual cost for an ap­pli­ca­tion for a small casino rise from £6,506 to £6,570, and the cost of a large casino rise from £7,806 to £7,860.

Both re­ports will now go to a full coun­cil meet­ing be­ing held next Thurs­day at the Civic Cen­tre.

‘Given where Ash­ford sat na­tion­ally in terms of fares, it was dif­fi­cult to sup­port an in­crease’

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