Taxi fares on upward trajectory

Taxi fares on upward trajectory

An application for an increase in Hackney Carriage fares has been made by local operators to Tunbridge Borough Council’s Licensing Committee.

The council will put the proposal to a public consultation early next year.

Councillor Lawrence Heasman, who attended the Licensing Committee meeting where they discussed the application, said there has not been an increase in fares in the area since 2011.

“The fares are going out to consultation, so the public will be asked if they are happy with a potential increase up to 10 per cent.”

Currently, the initial charge for the first mile (or the first 12 minutes if the taxi is stationary) costs £4.00, with each subsequent mile charged at £2.60. If the change goes ahead, it will mean a two-mile journey will increase from £6.60 to £7.12.

Under the proposals put to the council, there could be an increase in the distance for the initial fixed-fee hiring charge, which could be reduced from 1,760 yards (one Mile) to 1,408 yards (8/10 mile).

Cllr Heasman said: “It is recognising that doing a short journey and back again may need to be adjusted as it might not be worthwhile for them, especially if you then have to join the back of the taxi rank.

“If there are no objections, it will be up to the taxi firms to decide if they want to implement any fare increase. They are, after all, in a competitive market place.”

He said that the council were also discussing an increase to the fees for applying and renewing taxi licenses in the borough.

“The trade has to support itself. At the moment tax payers are subsidizing it, so we are trying to reduce this subsidy,” added Cllr Heasman.

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