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Vale Council approves new taxi fare tariffs with annual review commitment

Vale of White Horse District Council has confirmed a new tariff structure for hackney carriages following a Cabinet meeting that discussed public and trade consultation results.

The new fare regime will place Vale within the top 15 of the highest taxi tariffs nationwide, influenced heavily by the Guildford model, which has been officially adopted for future assessments.

During the meeting, Cabinet members reviewed the Hackney Carriage Fares report, which incorporated feedback from both the public and drivers. A significant number of drivers participated in the consultation process, with about 80% opening the emailed survey, indicating a robust engagement from the community.

Discussion focused on the method of consultation and the practicality of the proposed fare structure, which takes into account the higher cost of living in the district compared to other regions. The Cabinet also addressed concerns regarding the affordability of taxi services for vulnerable populations, ensuring the tariff remains accessible to elderly and disabled residents.

The licensing team leader and the legal, licensing, and community safety manager detailed the calculation process for the proposed fares, emphasising the use of the Guildford model. This model, previously validated by legal proceedings, bases fare calculations on comprehensive cost data and has been accepted as a fair standard after significant scrutiny.

Furthermore, the Cabinet examined an alternative proposal from the South and Vale Taxi Driver Association, which suggested slightly higher rates. However, the majority opinion supported the established proposal, noting its balance between fair compensation for drivers and reasonable costs for passengers.

The newly approved tariff structure will be subject to an annual review, allowing ongoing adjustments in response to economic conditions and operational costs.

Cllr Bethia Thomas, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “In light of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, it is important for us to set a reasonable maximum tariff people will be charged for a journey. We put the proposed tariff out to public consultation, and we have also used a robust way of calculating the figures suitable for our district. We believe we have found a fair balance for Hackney Carriage customers and taxi drivers.”


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