South Ribble taxis to cost more from March

Taxi driver, Ray Bailey, right, has started a petition calling on South Ribble Council to raise taxi fares because taxi drivers are struggling, from left, taxi drivers, Gerard Burne, James Belfield and Scott Washington
Taxi driver, Ray Bailey, right, has started a petition calling on South Ribble Council to raise taxi fares because taxi drivers are struggling, from left, taxi drivers, Gerard Burne, James Belfield and Scott Washington
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Taxi drivers have won their fight to increase fares.

Licensing chiefs at South Ribble Council decided to approve the rise after a campaign by The South Ribble Taxi Owners Association.

The group collected the names of 63 hackney carriage drivers and two private hire drivers who wanted to see a rise of 40p in tariffs, claiming that that since the last fare rise in September 2011, bus and train fares have both risen, as have their own costs.

Currently the metre starts at £2 for tariff one - from 6am to midnight - and lasts for three tenths of a mile, when it costs 20p per mile thereafter.

Changes to be brought in mean there will be an increase in the ‘flag drop’ to £2.20, which will last for two tenths of a mile, and then the charge will be 20p per mile.

The ‘flag drop’ for tariff two - from midnight to 6am - will increase from £2.70 to £3, and on tariff three at Christmas and New Year, will rise from £3.60 to £4. Both will be 20p per mile thereafter.

Ray Bailey of the South Ribble Taxi Owners Association, said: “It means there’s a bit more breathing space for drivers now.

“One of the councillors said that fuel prices are coming down, but that accounts for only a third of our running costs.

“We’ve not had a rise for over three years, but our costs are rising.

“Fares for buses and train travel have increased since 2011 and the miniumum wage has also gone up from £6.08 to £6.50.

“Things are slow at the moment with taxis, so if we get £6 or £7 an hour, it’s only the same as getting the minimum wage.

“We hope that our customers understand.”

The decision will be displayed as a public notice for 14 days, and if there is no objection during that time, the new fares will be introduced on March 20.