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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Taxi fares increase to be reviewed by Allerdale council

Allerdale councillors will look again at plans to increase taxi fares.

Ray Cottier photo
Ray Cottier

Last month, the council voted to increase journeys by 10p – making it the first price change in four years.

But some cabbies say they would have to make hundreds of fares to fund a change to their meter to accommodate a 10p price hike.

The matter will be discussed again next week by councillors sitting on Allerdale’s licensing panel.

Davies Taxis, of Keswick, has objected to the planned increase.

They say the “minimal” financial gain didn’t justify the cost of having to get their meters recalibrated.

The taxi company has been invited to the meeting.

And Workington taxi driver Ray Cottier has previously said that increasing the cost by just 10p is a “waste of time.”

He said: “All it means is that the first mile goes up from £2.90 to £3,” he said.

The licensing panel has been given two recommendations. They can either keep the table of fares as originally proposed – 300 pence for the first mile, which comes into effect on June 1 – or change it to come into effect also on June 1.

But taxi driver Brian Sparks said: “The Hackney carriage table of fares is in need of urgent increase.

“Yet again one rise has had to last several years.

“At least 10 per cent is required on the first mile and subsequent 1/5 mile charges to keep up with all the other constantly rising costs, including your licensing. Ten per cent is less than the rise in inflation since the last increase.

“I don’t consider it an unreasonable request.”

Fellow driver Gerard Glaister suggested increasing the rate to £3.20 “as we have not had an increase for four years.”

The licensing committee’s recommendation will be considered by the council on May 14 and that decision will be final.

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