Fare increases are proposed for Hackney Carriage taxis in St Edmundsbury

Bury town centre taxi rank

Bury town centre taxi rank - Credit: Contributed

Hackney Carriage customers in St Edmundsbury are set to face a rise in fares under proposals put forward by the industry.

The preferred option would see a one-mile day-time journey in a council-licensed taxi, which can be hailed from the street, increase from £3.70 to £3.80, while the largest rises would be for vehicles for more than four passengers for journeys between 12midnight and 7am and for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

If hiring one of these larger vehicles, a 10-mile journey on one of these festive days would be £54.60, compared to £39.50 currently, and a 10-mile journey between 12midnight and 7am would cost £37.35, up from £29.62.

In East Anglia the average fare for one mile is £3.93 and for 10 miles is £19.85.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s licensing and regulatory committee will decide on Tuesday whether to approve the preferred fare increases, which have been advertised through a public notice, amend them, reject them and come up with a new set or reject them, making no changes. The proposed fares would come into force on November 25, if approved.

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Hackney Carriage driver Ian Thompson, who came up with the preferred option, said he wanted the increases to be fair to both the public and the drivers. He said: “[The cost of] fuel has come down a bit, overheads haven’t, labour and mechanical labour has gone up. We are just trying to balance it out really.”

He said his proposal was asking for an extra 50p on the starting price, or flag price, of day-time journeys under one mile to cover the costs of these short trips.

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Another Hackney Carriage driver, who did not wish to be named, had proposed larger fare rises to cover what he said was an 18-20% increase in overheads and the lack of a rise since 2011. He said ideally there should be a small increase every year.

For the full list of proposed fares, visit www.westsuffolk.gov.uk and search for the committee report.

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