Updated: Feb 27, 2022
Taxi trade representatives are predicting a more modest price increase to London’s taxi fares with Transport for London (TfL) set to announce the results of a recent tariff consultation.
Rising fuel costs and high inflation looks set to push London’s cab prices up slightly in Spring 2022, with the last fare increase implemented back in January 2020.
TfL recently ran a public consultation, putting forward three proposed taxi tariff options. These were:
OPTION 1: Make no changes to taxi fares;
OPTION 2: 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%);
OPTION 3: 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).
The consultation has now finished and a recommendation has been put forward to the TfL Board Finance Committee to approve. According to the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), it looks likely that 4% increase, plus increase in the minimum fare, will be approved as a compromise.
Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary, said in TAXI Newspaper: “The recent online consultation on taxi fares was open to everyone – passengers, drivers and feasibly people who have never even been to London, let alone travelled in a taxi or have any interest in our fares.
“In theory, millions could have responded, there certainly should have been at least 20,000 responses from taxi drivers alone, but the actual number was less than 1000 people who could be bothered to log on.
“Based on the consultation responses, there now has to be a recommendation to the TfL board finance committee. The consultation offered three options; nothing, circa 4% and circa 10% and without seeing the responses its anyone’s guess as to how it could go, but the smart money is going on the middle figure of 4%. The reasoning behind this assumes that there was no massive support for any of the proposals, and that support was broadly split between the three, which is certainly the split of opinions amongst members I have spoken to.
“If this is right, a recommendation for ‘option one’ will anger supporters of 10% and a recommendation for ‘option three’ will anger supporters of zero – whereas the middle figure will be seen as a compromise and acceptable to all. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens and we should know very shortly.”
Further to the tariffs, TfL also asked 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 asked 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.