Taxi drivers in the Weymouth and Portland area are looking at the possibility of increased taxi fares after proposals generated little objection from the public.
The Dorset Council licensing sub-committee met on Thursday 29 June and unanimously supported the proposed fare adjustments.
According to Dorset Live, Councillor Susan Cocking, representing Portland, voiced her lack of objection to the fare rises, stating her sympathy for local drivers who, like everyone else, were experiencing similar increases in various aspects of life. Meanwhile, Weymouth Councillor Brian Heatley expressed concerns that the approved increases, which he calculated to be between 3.2 and 5 percent, might not be sufficient, considering the official inflation rate is currently at 8.7 percent.
The new rates are scheduled to be implemented in July and will see the cost for a two-mile journey rise to £7.60, in line with neighboring areas except for Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole, where the two-mile rate stands at £8.20. The agreed-upon increase will add 20p to the initial mile and 10p for each subsequent mile. However, it is important to note that taxi drivers still have the discretion to charge a lower fare if they choose to do so.
Fare adjustments for the Weymouth and Portland area were last made in April 2022, alongside changes in the rest of the Dorset Council area. A report presented to the committee revealed that the Weymouth Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Association requested a small increase this year, as they believe that frequent modest increases are more acceptable to the traveling public than infrequent larger ones.
The limited opposition to the proposed fare increase suggests that the adjustments will be given the green light. The only concerns that remain are the adequacy of the approved changes in a time of higher inflation.