Taxi fares set for in­crease?

Glamorgan Gazette - - Front Page - STAFF RE­PORTER newdesk@waleson­line.co.uk

TAXI fares could soon rise in Brid­gend county bor­ough after coun­cil­lors agreed to put a pro­posal from li­censed driv­ers out to con­sul­ta­tion.

TAXI fares could soon rise in Brid­gend county bor­ough after lo­cal coun­cil­lors agreed to put a pro­posal from li­censed driv­ers out to con­sul­ta­tion.

A num­ber of taxi driv­ers have ar­gued that fares should be in­creased for the first time since 2011 due to the rise in cost of liv­ing cou­pled with the cost of run­ning their ve­hi­cles.

Cabi­net mem­bers from Brid­gend County Bor­ough Coun­cil heard that four al­ter­na­tive pric­ing struc­tures had been pro­posed, and that 653 let­ters had been sent out to li­censed driv­ers of taxis and pri­vate hire ve­hi­cles to ask for their views.

The driv­ers were in­vited to select one of four new op­tions, or to keep the fares the same as they cur­rently are.

Most re­spon­dents (34%) pre­ferred one par­tic­u­lar op­tion which sug­gested that the pick up rate, which cov­ers the first half mile of a jour­ney, should be raised by 30p to be­come £2.80 in­stead of £2.50.

After this dis­tance, the fares would in­crease by 20p ev­ery tenth of a mile as op­posed to ev­ery eighth of a mile as they do now.

Fares will re­main more ex­pen­sive be­tween the hours of 8pm and 6am, as well as on bank hol­i­days and Christ­mas Day. Driv­ers were also keen for the soil­ing charge to in­crease to £125. Hav­ing con­sid- ered all of the op­tions, cabi­net mem­bers agreed to put the most pop­u­lar op­tion through to the next stage – con­sul­ta­tion with the pub­lic. Bar­ring any ob­jec­tions, the new fares will come into ef­fect from Mon­day, December 3.

Coun­cil­lor Dhan­isha Pa­tel, a mem­ber of the Shared Reg­u­la­tory Ser­vices Joint Com­mit­tee which cov­ers li­cens­ing mat­ters, said: “As driv­ers have been telling us that they face large out­lays be­fore they can start to earn a liv­ing, we have agreed to see whether the pub­lic are will­ing to agree to a slight rise in fares, keep­ing in mind that taxis should re­main af­ford­able for the pub­lic, es­pe­cially those who de­pend on them.

“If you com­pare the taxi fares be­tween all 370 lo­cal au­thor­i­ties across the coun­try, Brid­gend County Bor­ough is cur­rently the 331st most ex­pen­sive area to hail a taxi, at £4.90 for a two-mile jour­ney. The high­est fare can be found in Wat­ford, where a twom­ile jour­ney costs £8.40.

“Un­der the new fare rate, a two-mile jour­ney here would cost £5.80, which would put us in roughly the mid­dle at 198th most ex­pen­sive, which is still cheaper than the Vale of Glam­or­gan and Cardiff.” All of the taxis – also known as hack­ney car­riages – that are li­censed by Brid­gend County Bor­ough Coun­cil can be hailed from the street, op­er­ate from taxi ranks, or be pre-booked if re­quired.

Their pric­ing struc­tures dif­fer from those for pri­vate hire ve­hi­cles such as minibuses which al­ways need to be pre-booked and can’t be flagged down.

A num­ber of taxi driv­ers have ar­gued that fares should be in­creased for the first time since 2011

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