Councillors can’t agree to 3% rise in taxi fares
Falling petrol prices among reasons for decision
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’