Taxi driver brands fares increase ‘a disgrace’
A FORT WILLIAM taxi driver has branded a proposed 28 per cent increase in fares a ‘disgrace’.
Nairn McArthur said drivers have been informed by Highland Council’s licensing committe the price per mile for tariff one – Monday to Friday during the day – is to go up from £1.40 to £1.80. He said: ‘This is a disgrace. There are people round here who rely on taxis but these regular customers are not going to continue to get taxis. People will just walk past and go for a bus.
Mr McArthur added drivers will also have to get their meters re- calibrated and tested by the council which could cost £100 per taxi. He also said drivers who tendered for the school run did so in January at the price of £1.40 per mile. The proposed changes would mean those companies will have under-priced the school run.
Mr McArthur now plans to get as many drivers as possible to sign a letter of appeal to send to the council.
Tariff two, which operates between 9pm and 7am at the weekend and when five or more passengers are carried at any time of the day, and tariff three, which is used on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and January 1 and 2 and when five or more passengers are carried at anytime of the day on a Saturday and Sunday, will remain unchanged.
In his letter Mr McArthur said: ‘The fact that under the proposals tariffs two and three would remain unchanged would create a bizarre imbalance between the tariffs and we would be interested to learn of the rational behind this.’
A Highland Council spokesperson said the licensing committee is required to undertake a review of maximum taxi tariffs in the Highlands every 18 months and to consult on their proposals.
The spokesperson said: ‘As part of this process, a draft taxi tariff was proposed in December 2016 and published on the council’s website. Members of the public had until early January 2017 to respond.
‘ While the draft tariff proposed was an increase of 10 pence per running mile at tariff 1 bringing it to £1.50 per mile, as a result of written representations received from some members of the taxi trade and further submissions to the committee at the meeting on February 7 by trade members who attended, the committee decided a higher increase to £1.80 per mile was justified.’