Increase in taxi fares recommended for public consultation

Licensing Committee votes for the increase in taxi fares to go to consultation
Licensing Committee votes for the increase in taxi fares to go to consultation

Scarborough Borough Council’s Licensing Committee has recommended the proposed increase in taxi fares to go out to consultation.

At a meeting held yesterday (Monday, 10 September) councillors voted for the proposals, which could see taxi fares go up by 22%, to move forward.

The increase, the first since 2013, has been requested by the Scarborough and District Taxi Association (SDTA).

Under proposed plans, journeys from 6am to 9pm will go up by an average of 10.7%. Journeys from 9pm to midnight will rise by 22% whilst from midnight to 6am fares will increase by 13.7%.

To put this into context, the cost of a one-mile journey from 6am to 9pm will go from £4.80 to £5.20. From 9pm to midnight the same journey (currently £4.80) will increase to £5.60 whilst from midnight to 6am the fare will increase to £6 from the current £5.20.

A report that went before the Licensing Committee on Monday states that the proposals "would both simplify the fare structure whilst also making it more transparent for passengers."

Other changes to the current regulation include an additional charge of £1 per passenger where more than four passengers are carried, to double the existing charge applied to luggage, bicycles, dogs etc. to 20p per item, extend the definition of 'Bank Holidays' to include the bank holiday weekend i.e. Saturday, Sunday, Monday and annual Good Friday and double the existing soiling charge from £40 to £80.

The majority of the councillors who attended the meeting agreed with the plans.

Councillor Godfrey Allanson said the changes were "reasonable and fair" adding that this is the price to pay for "high standard, well-regulated taxis that abide to many strict rules."

However, councillor Jane Mortimer voted to defer the plans over concerns that the increase is too high.

She said: "22% is too much for people whose wages haven't gone up. I agree that there should be an increase but I think we should alter some of the percentages."

A final decision on the increase will be taken by the Cabinet in October.