A proposal to increase taxi fares across Lichfield and Burntwood is to be discussed by councillors.
Members of the community, housing and health overview and scrutiny committee will debate the future of hackney carriage rates on Thursday 17th October.
A consultation with drivers has led to proposals to increase fares, which were last updated in 2012.
At present, two tariffs operate – a standard maximum figure and one in place at night and on bank holidays:
- Tier 1: £3.60 for the first mile and then 17p for every subsequent 161 metres.
- Tier 2: £4.80 for the first mile and 23p for the next 161 metres.
A report from Cllr Angela Lax, Cabinet member for legal and regulatory services, says that the trade call for increased fares would see rises such as:
- A 4-mile trip between Lichfield City Station and Burntwood Island to £10 from £8.70 under Tier 1, or rising from £11.70 to £14 under Tier 2.
- A 3.1-mile trip from Co-op Bole Park to the Friary School increasing from £7.17 to £7.20 (Tier 1) and £9.63 to £11.30 (Tier 2).
One taxi driver told the consultation the review was long overdue.
“As the fares have not been reviewed for seven years they have not kept up with the costs to drivers such as MOT, road tax and insurance.
“There are also increased associated costs with the reduction of time a vehicle can be used as a taxi.”
Waiting time charge
The report adds that trade proposals also include the introduction of a waiting time charge which could equate to £15 an hour.
Cllr Lax’s report explains: “The trade have requested this introduction which it is stated operates in most areas.
“This means the fare is based not only on distance travelled, but also takes account of any waiting time within the journey, for example when the vehicle is stationary during times of heavy traffic.
“Drivers have also expressed concerns about being asked to wait for passengers picking up takeaways.
“Given that labour is a significant cost in providing a taxi service, members may feel that it is legitimate to include a waiting time.
“If this is the case, the issue for consideration is at what point this kicks in. If it applies after 60 seconds, as is the case in Stafford, Tamworth and Cannock Chase, then this will also take into account any waiting in stationary traffic and any stoppages at traffic lights and could significantly mount up.
“However, it is recognised that when drivers are stuck in traffic or they are being asked to wait while a passenger collects a takeaway, they should be recompensed for their time.
“On this basis, members are asked to consider the option of applying a waiting time, with the first five minutes free and then £15 an hour, equating to £3.75 per 15 minutes.”
Other aspects being considered at the meeting include an increase in the ‘soiling charge’ to £60.