Cardiff taxi firm objects to council’s fare hike plans
A well-known taxi company in Cardiff has opposed plans to increase hackney carriage fares, fearing an impact on customer demand.
Dragon Taxis objected to Cardiff Council’s proposal to raise fares to between 18% and 41% for journeys in the city.
It is hoped that the fare increase, which came about in June as a result of rising fuel costs and inflationary pressures, will help drivers cope with the “critical situation” their trade is in.
However, Dragon Taxis, raised concerns that the proposed price hike – as a result of which, a 10-mile journey between 10pm and 5am would go from costing £21.40 to £30.30 – could put customers off.
The company also put forward a counter proposal, which is to increase the cost of the average booking by 13.43%.
“A balance between what is fair for drivers and what is manageable for passengers has been the cornerstone of our applications,” it said.
“We also take the long-term view that the tariff increase must be considered carefully not to unfairly ‘punish’ passengers to the extent that passenger demand is significantly impacted.”
After a consultation period between July 11 and 25, the council received 226 individually signed but identical letters of support from licensed Cardiff drivers, and one objection.
In the supporting letters, it was claimed many drivers have had their “plates on hold” because “they cannot make enough money to live on after expenses”.
It added: “If the increase is not implemented our trade is on a downward spiral and there will be fewer Hackney taxis available.”
Under the new proposal, which will be debated by the council’s cabinet at its meeting on Wednesday, September 28, fares would rise by different rates depending on the length of the journey, the time of day and the day of the week.
The maximum charge for a 10-mile journey between 5am and 8pm, Monday to Friday, would rise by 18.1%, from £20.40 to £24.10.
The same distance on weekday evenings (8pm-10pm) and between 5am and 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays would cost £26,70, a rise of 30.1% on the current charge of £20.40.
Cardiff Council’s Cabinet member for Transport and Strategic Planning, Cllr Daniel De’Ath, said: “We are very aware of the impact that the rise in fuel prices and used cars has had on the licensed cab trade and in these areas the rises have been far higher than the standard rate of inflation.
“But we have to balance the evidence of rising costs and fairness for drivers with consideration for the customer.”
“In the report to cabinet, members have been asked to decide between the original proposal or adopt the alternative suggestion from Dragon Taxis and to set a date of October 8 for the changes to come into effect.”
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