Waveney black cab drivers urge council to increase taxi fares

Jonsson threw up in the back of a taxi and then refused to pay the cleaning bill. Picture: Jonathan

Hackney carriage drivers have urged East Suffolk Council to increase fares amid the cost of living crisis. - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A council will consider a proposal from a group of black cab drivers for an increase to fares in Waveney.

East Suffolk Council's licensing committee will discuss the base rate of taxi fares after a group of taxi drivers petitioned for the prices to be increased.

The council is responsible for licensing hackney carriage and private hire drivers and vehicles, as well as private hire operators.

Taxi driver Mustafa Ibisler said: "We proposed this as fuel prices and inflation is at an all time high.

"While private taxi firms have changed their fares in balance with the cost of living crisis, us black cab drivers work for the council and they set our tariff prices.

"The last time the council changed tariff prices was in 2012."

The council has the power to set and vary fares for hackney carriages by law, while drivers of hackney cabs are also prohibited from charging more than the set fare.

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Mr Ibisler, in his application for the review, said: "The pound had an average inflation rate of 2.54pc per year between 2008 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 42.17pc.

"Vehicle prices have doubled since 2019."

Mr Ibisler was joined by 29 other taxi drivers in making the proposal to the council, which would see a £1 increase in the minimum fare to journeys carried out between 7am and 11pm, meaning a minimum fare of £4 would apply.

During the same time, known as Tariff 1, there would also be a reduction to a minimum journey of 880 yards in distance, while subsequent distance charges would be reduced from 146.66 yards to 125 yards.

Tariff 2 journeys, between 11pm and 7am, would see a £1.20 increase in minimum fare and reduction to 700 yards in distance, meaning a minimum fare of £4.40.

Following distances would be charged at 106 yards, down from 121.37.

It means prices would increase by around £5 for a journey of 10 miles under either proposed tariff.

Other changes include increase the soiling charge from £40 to £60, and an increase from 30p to 80p for storing luggage in the luggage compartment. 

East Suffolk Council's licensing committee will meet to discuss the proposal on Monday, August 1, 2022.