Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council have REJECTED pleas from the taxi trade to increase tariffs after being hit by brutal mounting fuel and living costs.
The council were asked to consider raising prices after a request made by operators Mi Taxi’s and Crystal Cars.
Councillors were also asked to consider that additional payments can be claimed from the passenger when a driver or operator incurs additional costs.
Fares in the region were last reviewed in June 2016. Since then the average price of petrol has risen from £1.03 per litre to £1.81 per litre. Inflation in the UK currently sits at 9.4% over the last 12 months. Inflation since tariffs were last reviewed in Nuneaton amounts to a huge 21%.
The rejected proposal would have seen Tariff 1 starting fare rise from £3.50 to £4.10, and Tariff 2 increase from £4.75 to £5.65.
According to Coventry Live, Councillor Sue Markham, cabinet member for public services, looked at the requests made by the firms and decided to REJECT the proposals despite the huge increases in fuel, vehicle and living costs facing drivers. The tariffs are set to be reviewed again in November.
Cllr Markham did however agree that additional payments can be claimed from the customer when the driver or operator faces costs such as congestion charges and drop off fees.
Most local authorities have moved quickly to support taxi drivers in their working areas by increasing tariffs between five and twenty percent.
Mi Taxis Chairman, JP Igoe, detailed the urgent need for a review in a letter sent to council members. It read: “As you will be aware we have not received a taxi fare increase since September 2016 and therefore I would propose a meeting as soon as possible to discuss this.
“Since the last increase the national minimum wage has risen by 23% and is expected to rise again, meaning that we would not be in line with inflation. The cost of fuel is constantly rising, and we are being asked by the Government to look to the future and invest in electric vehicles, of which you can agree is very expensive.
“I have investigated purchasing electric vehicles for the company and they are upwards of £24,900 for a large car and upwards of £63,000 for a cab. There is then the cost of the rapid charging points (50DC) which start from £25,000. As you can appreciate this is a huge cost to any company.”
The letter went on to add: “Mi Taxis is a business that is licensed with Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council and is going into its 68th year in 2022. We are still offering hackney carriage & disability accessible vehicles, despite the shortage of drivers. As the chairman of Nuneaton & Bedworth taxi association and the proprietor of Mi Taxis ltd, I have great concern as there are very few new drivers putting applications into N&BBC to become taxi drivers. This in turn will have a massive effect on the trade and the public of Nuneaton & Bedworth.”