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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Taxi fares set to rise in Allerdale for first time in four years

Taxi fares are set to increase for the first time in four years across Allerdale.

Allerdale councillor photo
Nicky Cockburn

Fares will increase by 10p from £2.90 to £3 for the first mile after prices had been frozen since 2010.

Allerdale council review the fares each year after consulting with local firms. Four traders replied to the authority, all backing a price hike.

At a meeting of the authority’s licensing committee councillors decided to increase the charges.

Councillor David Wilson proposed that the prices should be increased by 10p and his recommendation was carried by seven votes to three although the decision needs to be rubber-stamped by the full council.

Councillor Nicky Cockburn added: “The prices have been frozen for four years so in my view a slight increase is warranted.”

The new table of fares will come into operation on April 1 provided no objections are received.

If there are objections the matter is referred back for consideration.

Some taxi drivers were asking for a larger increase to keep up with other rising costs including licence fees, fuel and vehicle maintenance.

Keswick taxi driver Andrew Morris said he would have liked to see the price rise to £3.20 unless some of the fees they are charged were capped.

He added: If they had cut our fees they could have kept the price the same but it is not worth it putting it up by that much.”

Self-employed taxi driver Ray Cottier said before the meeting that a fare increase could spell disaster for the taxi trade.

He said the majority of taxi drivers in Workington wanted to see the fees remain the same and if people are asked to pay more they will boycott taxis.

He said: “The recession has hit Workington and is hitting taxis very hard. A lot of people who would get taxis in the past are now getting buses or walking.

“Each day I am getting less and less trade. The regular people who used taxis are not getting in and are just walking past.”

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