Taxi drivers in Weymouth and Portland may soon be able to charge higher taxi fares if an application for an increase is approved.
The proposed increase in rates for a five-mile journey during peak hours would see the maximum charge rise from £16 to £16.70, and from £18.60 to £19.30 during late night peak hours.
The Hackney Carriage operators insist that smaller and more frequent increases are necessary to meet the rising costs of operation. The proposed changes also include variations in charges for public holidays, number of passengers, pets, and luggage being carried. Dorset councillors are expected to consider a rise in maximum fares and changes to the calculation of waiting times, as well as the use of automatic meters.
However, council officers have not recommended the use of automatic meters, citing case law that allows taxi operators to charge less than the local maximum rate or offer a lower meter rate. Similar fare increase applications have already been approved in neighboring Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council areas.
The last change in taxi fares in Weymouth and Portland was in April 2022, which was also implemented throughout the Dorset Council area. The Hackney Carriage operators believe that frequent increases in rates are fairer to drivers and more acceptable to the public, who should expect to pay more for taxi rides due to rising operational costs.
In a Licensing Committee report it reads: “The Weymouth Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Association have requested a further small rise this year, as they believe that smaller annual increases are accepted by the travelling public better than infrequent larger ones.”