Gwynedd Council has given its approval to raise the fees for taxi licences by 12 percent, sparking debate about potential increases in cab ride costs.
The decision, prompted by the need to recover increasing council administrative costs, has raised fears of more people becoming isolated due to higher fares and a decline in individuals applying to become taxi drivers. The general licensing committee, responsible for overseeing such matters, unanimously approved the proposal, to be in effect from 1 October.
During a meeting on Monday 25 September, council officer Gwenan Mai Roberts addressed the issue, emphasising the necessity of the increase in fees to ensure that rising administrative and compliance costs could be fully recovered. According to Cambrian News, Roberts also acknowledged the possibility of the taxi industry eventually requesting fare rate increases, prompting the sub-committee to consider the matter further.
The decision to review and adjust the fees for taxi licences is not new. In 2013, it was established that such fees would be reviewed annually. The fees encompass various components, including granting licences for hackney or private hire vehicles, associated processing and administration costs, issuing licences, vehicle and operator's licence inspections, hackney carriage stands, public notices, and the management and supervision of vehicles, among others.
It is worth noting that due to the pandemic, there had been a two-year gap without any fee increases. However, the current proposal puts into motion a necessary adjustment to account for the recovering costs.