Prices to go up next month to use a Hackney Carriage in St Edmundsbury

Bury town centre taxi rank

Bury town centre taxi rank - Credit: Contributed

A hike in Hackney Carriage fares in St Edmundsbury has been agreed, as well as consultation to go ahead on a dress code for drivers.

To use a council-licensed taxi, which can be hailed from the street, it will now cost an extra 10p for a one-mile day-time journey - from £3.70 to £3.80 - from November 25.

The across-the-board fare rises, which were proposed by Hackney Carriage driver Ian Thompson, were agreed last week by St Edmundsbury’s licensing and regulatory committee.

The largest rises will 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 will be £54.60, compared to £39.50 currently, and a 10-mile journey between 12midnight and 7am will cost £37.35, up from £29.62.

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

Hackney Carriage driver Jamie Hunter said he was all for the fare rises, adding: “We are the same as everybody else. Things go up, household bills go up.”

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It is understood there has not been a fare increase since 2011.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, a revised dress code for Hackney Carriage drivers as well as private hire drivers was approved for consultation with current licence holders.

A report, which went before the committee, said: “Recently officers have been alerted to licensed drivers wearing clothing that is considered inappropriate and presents a potentially negative impression, for example, Bermuda-style shorts/swim trunks and vest tops.”

The new dress code would ban clothing such as T-shirts, collarless tops, sports shirts, swimwear, beach-type footwear, tracksuits, short skirts, singlets and dirty clothing, while promoting shirts, polo shirts, “sensible trousers”, knee-length skirts and shoes.

Mr Hunter said it was a “good idea” for drivers to appear smart and professional.

A borough council spokesman said: “The appearance of licensed drivers can create a lasting impression on visitors to the area. Portraying a professional image is good for business and good for the image of the council.

“We already have had a condition relating to appearance, however this can be somewhat subjective. The intention is to amend this to be consistent across West Suffolk and include guidance on what is deemed suitable and what isn’t.”

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