Taxi fares set to increase

WITH tax and fuel costs soaring, taxi drivers in Colchester could be about to increase their fares after they submitted an application to the borough council.

WITH tax and fuel costs soaring, taxi drivers in Colchester could be about to increase their fares after they submitted an application to the borough council.

The Colchester Hackney Carriage Association is seeking an increase in the maximum fare drivers are allowed to charge, citing the “rise and unstable” price of diesel and petrol and an increase in the cost of maintaining their cabs.

Council officers have compiled a report that will be put to the town's licensing committee at a meeting next Wednesday recommending the move be approved.

Yesterday, one driver in the town said the small increase would not hit local users too hard and put it down to the increasing overheads they faced.


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Steve Doyle, a driver in Colchester for seven years, said: “The local trade is looked after with the increase - it's the out of town trips going to Chelmsford and Clacton where they will see the increase.

“For some cabs the cost of road tax has gone from £200 to £400 and the cost of fuel has left some drivers having to pay £80 a week extra.”

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Under local authority rules the borough council can set fares for hackney carriage vehicles licensed in its area “as it may deem reasonable or necessary”.

There are currently 109 drivers in the association and a committee of members has put together the application after a ballot.

In recommending the application, officer Simon Harvey said it should be considered that drivers themselves were in the best position to know their own business and what the customer market could bear in terms of an increase.

If the request is agreed then the new tariffs must be reported in the press and any written objections can be put to the council within 14 days.

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