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North Yorkshire Council proposes taxi tariff increases despite Uber price competition concerns

North Yorkshire Council is poised to implement hackney carriage tariff increases of 5% despite some concern around Uber price competition.

The proposal follows a detailed review by the Corporate Director of Environment, culminating in proposed adjustments aimed at ensuring fair compensation for drivers while maintaining accessibility for the public.

Under the current legislation, councils have the authority to set maximum fares for hackney carriages. This helps protect passengers from excessive charges and ensures drivers are fairly compensated. North Yorkshire’s existing fare structure has been in place since April 2023, but recent comparisons with neighbouring areas prompted the Council to propose revisions.

The proposed changes include a 5% increase in the running mile and waiting times for daytime fares, alongside extending the evening tariff from 10pm to 7am, instead of the current 11pm to 6am. Notably, call-out charges are set to rise from £1 per mile to £1.50 per mile. Additionally, a new surcharge of up to £50 per trip is to be introduced for contracts with the Council, primarily affecting school and social care transport agreements.

In response to these proposals, a public consultation was held, garnering 30 responses. Reactions varied widely, with some stakeholders advocating for higher fares to ensure drivers earn a living wage, while others expressed concerns about the affordability of taxi services for residents, particularly in rural areas where alternatives are limited.

The Council’s review emphasised the need to strike a balance between fair compensation for drivers and preventing undue financial strain on passengers. One contentious issue is the potential impact of fare increases on those who rely on taxis as their primary mode of transport, such as the elderly or individuals with disabilities.

Another point of concern is competition from private hire vehicles and ride-hailing services like Uber, which often offer lower fares than traditional hackney carriages. Drivers in North Yorkshire have voiced worries about losing business to these operators, especially if fare increases make their services less competitive.

If approved, the new fare structure will take effect on 1 July 2024. The Council must now consider the objections received and decide whether to proceed with the proposed changes or modify them in light of public feedback.


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