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LONDON TAXI FARE SHAKE UP: TfL consults on fare rises and new Heathrow charges

The price of London taxi fares is set for its biggest shake up yet as Transport for London (TfL) begins survey on fare rises and new Heathrow airport drop-off fees.

Rising fuel costs and high inflation is set to push London’s cab prices up slightly in Spring 2022, with the last fare increase implemented back in January 2020.

There are three key elements to this consultation based around:

  • Taxi fares and tariffs overall

  • Proposals relating to the Heathrow Extra

  • Proposals relating to the Terminal Drop Off Charge.

The regulator suggests uncertainties for the taxi industry and for taxi users were brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. For that reason the review, is not based on one single proposal for increasing taxi fares and tariffs. Instead TfL are interested in gathering views on three possible options. These include:

  • Make no changes to taxi fares;

  • Freeze minimum fare (£3.20) and increase taxi fares and tariff 1, 2 and 3 by the combined total of the Cost Index figures (+9.95%);

  • Take the same approach as TfL took in the last two reviews. Increase the minimum fare by 80p, increase Tariffs 1 and 2 by 4.03% each but freeze Tariffs 3 and 4 (night time and long journey fares).

Further to the tariffs, TfL are also asking whether there should be any change to the extra charge passengers pay to take a taxi from one of the taxi ranks at Heathrow Airport.

Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) set the feeder park fee which taxi drivers must pay to access the taxi rank. In July 2021 the fee increased from £3.60 to £7.20. HAL state that the large increase is needed to cover losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic, as HAL contractually cannot subsidise this.

Finally, the consultation asks whether taxi drivers should be allowed to add an extra charge to the fare paid by passengers when they are dropped off at Heathrow Airport.

A new ‘Terminal Drop Off Charge’ now applies to ALL vehicles entering the forecourts of Heathrow’s terminals, although licensed taxis are currently on an exception list until April 2022.

This new fee added to the fares would help drivers cover the costs of the new £5 terminal drop off charge.

Once the consultation ends on 21 January 2022, TfL will consider all responses received and relay recommendations for any changes to taxi fares and tariffs.

Once TfL’s Finance Committee has reached a decision, they will publish the outcome, consultation report and the response to the issues raised during the consultation.

It normally takes between six to eight weeks after being approved by the Finance Committee to make any changes to the tariffs. This is to allow time for the taximeters and fares information to be updated.

A Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) spokesperson urged all cabbies to respond to the consultation, saying: “It is imperative that every member fills in the consultation so that your views are heard and that we get the tariff that you want.“

Taxi drivers can access the online survey here and it should take you no more than 10 minutes to complete.


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