Cabbies push for second fares rise in five months in South Ribble due to soaring cost of living

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Cabbies in South Ribble want to put fares up for the second time this year because they are struggling to make ends meet.

Drivers have asked the council if they can increase their rates due to sky-high fuel prices and the soaring cost of living.

Taxi prices were put up on April 1 after cabbies complained their overheads had "gone through the roof."

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Now they are looking for a second increase which would make South Ribble one of the costliest areas in Lancashire to travel by taxi.

Taxi drivers want another fares increase to combat soaring cost of living.Taxi drivers want another fares increase to combat soaring cost of living.
Taxi drivers want another fares increase to combat soaring cost of living.
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The price hike will be debated by councillors tonight (Tuesday) when it goes before the licensing and public safety committee.

They will be told that a basic two-mile journey, which cost £5.80 back in February, will set passengers back £7.50 if the new rates are introduced.

In a letter to the council, the Hackney Drivers Association explained that rocketing fuel prices this year had threatened cabbies' livelihoods.

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Costs of running a cab have 'gone through the roof'Costs of running a cab have 'gone through the roof'
Costs of running a cab have 'gone through the roof'

According to figures from the AA, the average price of a litre of diesel has risen in the North West from 148.7p in January to 196.1 in June. The cost of unleaded has also shot up from 145.4p to 188.4p over the same period.

"We understand that this request is coming soon after the other one in February 2022, but prices have continued to rise, not only for fuel but for food, gas and electric - with electricity set to go up again in October 2022," said Charles Oakes of the HDA.

He added that the drivers were "responding to significant economic factors" which the taxi trade felt needed addressing.

He also called on South Ribble to introduce a review every year "so the trade may move with the times and not fall back behind."

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Prior to April 1, the last time taxi prices went up in the borough was 2015.

Currently a standard two-mile cab fare in South Ribble, which was £5.80 before April, is now £6.30. Only Fylde has a higher rate at £6.70.

If the new price rises are adopted by the council that figure would climb to £7.50, meaning the fare would have risen £1.70 in a matter of months.

The proposed rates are:

Tariff 1 (6am to midnight): £3.00 for the first two-tenths of a mile plus 25p for every one-tenth after that. Back in February that figure was just £2.20 plus 20p.

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Tariff 2 (Midnight to 6am): £3.50 plus 30p compared to £3.00 and 25p at the start of the year.

Tariff 3 (Christmas and New Year): £4.50 plus 40p compared with £4.00 and 35p.

Back in January the taxi drivers were allowed a price increase after telling the council "the cost of living has gone through the roof."

They said it wasn't just the cost of fuel, but also other costs from running a car including repairs and servicing, insurance and the growing price of vehicles both new and used.

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In neighbouring Preston the hackney carriage drivers there were also allowed to put prices up by around 11 per cent back in June after they claimed they could not afford to run their cabs on the existing rates.