GMB Union has submitted a request on behalf of local taxi drivers to St Alban's District Council to increase taxi fares in light of the cost of living crisis.
Drivers say they have incurred substantial operational increases since the last fare tariff increase and currently rank 238th lowest in the UK in terms of fares.
Cabbies have requested an overhaul of rates in addition to providing information for airport drop-offs so that these costs are clearer for the public. The huge increases in drivers’ running costs including fuel, maintenance, increased license fees, and purchase costs of newer environmentally friendly vehicles have seriously affected the ability to earn a decent income says GMB London.
The local area boasts many historical attractions that draw tourist from the UK and overseas, therefore, the local taxi services is an important part of the local economy in addition to the service provided to residents. If fare tariffs are not increased drivers may look towards leaving the sector which will cause a deficit of professional drivers serving the local area and community.
Raja Ahmed, GMB Union representative, said: “We are pleased to serve the community on many levels and are keen to see our incomes improve to match the challenges that the current financial environment presents.”
Steve Garelick, GMB London Region Organiser, said: “Whilst GMB is very aware that the cost of living is seriously affecting so many, the incomes of taxi drivers affected by increased running costs need to be addressed to ensure the adequate continuation and supply of taxi services essential to the local community and the local economy.
“Representing our taxi driver members, GMB has engaged with the licensing team to provide a robust set of proposals that will make a difference to the incomes of our members and their families.
“GMB wishes to remind the public of the important service that taxi drivers provide and that a revised fare tariff is necessary because of the difficult economic climate. Health and safety of all is a high priority for GMB and our members and we take this opportunity to remind the public that health and safety is paramount for passengers and drivers alike and this can only be funded by fares that cover these costs.
“GMB believes that the district committee will agree with our proposals and that we can look forward to continued engagement on behalf of our members."