Taxi fares pegged as firms object
plans to increase taxi fares in Waveney have been scrapped amid opposition from local firms.Waveney District Council had agreed to put up fares amid concerns from the taxi trade about rising fuel costs.
plans to increase taxi fares in Waveney have been scrapped amid opposition from local firms.
Waveney District Council had agreed to put up fares amid concerns from the taxi trade about rising fuel costs. But consultations on the changes sparked a flurry of objections from other taxi operators.
The council's licensing committee met on Tuesday to take a final decision, and it was agreed that the increases would not go ahead and prices would be pegged at the current level.
John Lock, who owns Lowestoft-based Five One taxis, said the decision was hugely important for his company as a price hike could have put people off using the service. He added: “I think the council has finally seen sense. In the current climate I think it's the right thing to do as fuel prices are going down and I feel that, if fares go up, it would have a negative effect on business.”
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“It's a vicious circle. Our workload would have decreased and drivers would have had to work longer hours, which is not safe.”
The council had previously voted in favour of a fare increase for the first mile from £3.20 to £3.30 (3.1pc) with the percentage increasing the more miles travelled, resulting in an increase for a 10- mile trip from £24.80 to £27.60 (11.3pc).
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A letter countersigned by 19 people suggested during the consultations that the cost of a one-mile journey should go up but any further miles would be cheaper, while five people objected to any increase at all. Three people backed all or some of the increases voted for in June, and 196 drivers did not respond.
Mr Lock said: “You can price yourself out of the market. Sometimes you have to look at costings, be sensible and absorb some of those costs. Fuel prices are part of our costs but only a small part. The decision is sensible and good for us in the long run.”
Kathleen Grant, chairman of Waveney's licensing committee, said: “We are keeping the fares as they are and they will be reviewed again in due course. All responses were taken into account and the taxi drivers in general did not seem to want the fare increase. Petrol prices are coming down, but we are keeping an eye on things and will consider the increase again if and when it is needed, according to petrol prices and the cost of living.”