Agenda item

Hackney Carriage Fare Review (Agenda item 6)

Report of the Strategic Director Transformation.

Minutes:

The Licensing Team Leader presented the report.

 

Under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, local authorities may set Hackney Carriage fares.  Under the above Acts the Council could only set a maximum level of fares.  The fare shown on the meter was the maximum that could be charged; however, arrangements could be made between the hirer and the driver for a charge less than the maximum.  The application formula had been worked out using the Standard Retail Index for Motorists for June 2008.  The last application for a fare increase had been considered by the Committee on 14 December 2005 and implemented in February 2006.

 

The present fare chart had been attached at Appendix A of the report.  A comparison chart incorporating the proposed increase, together with fares in comparative council areas were shown at Appendix B.

 

Any proposed increase in fares had to be advertised in the local press and kept at the Council Offices for any objections to be received.  The proposed table of fares had been attached at Appendix D of the report.

 

If the Committee accepted the application an increase of 6.5% would be implemented with effect from 1 October 2008.

 

This did not apply to Private Hire vehicles.

 

The Licensing Team Leader explained the process for the taxi meters to be reprogrammed and the associated costs that came with it.

 

Referring to Appendix B, a Member wondered why Breckland’s fares were higher than for most other local authorities in the area.  In response, it was explained how the fares had been calculated had a bearing on this.  It was noted that a number of the other authorities’ had not yet increased taxi fares.

 

The Committee was of the opinion that because of the lack of public transport in the Breckland area it would be the old and the vulnerable that had to rely on taxis that would suffer.

 

Members were made aware that the supplementary charge of 20p for each hiring that had been agreed at a previous meeting would be revoked if the Committee was mindful to approve this increase.

 

The Committee felt that as the numbers of taxis had increased slightly in the area, business must be brisk; therefore, the current fares being charged at present must be right.  

 

In response to a further question concerning how much officer time and work would be involved should the application be refused, the Licensing Team Leader explained that this would be very difficult to gauge until it was know what the response from taxi drivers would be.  She reminded Members that Breckland Council did not have to implement an increase if it so wished as the wording in the legislation was that local authorities may increase its fares.

 

After considering the recommendations, it was proposed and seconded that the fare increase as proposed be not accepted. 

 

New figures were suggested; however, if the meter could not be recalibrated to incorporate these new figures exactly, it was agreed that the Committee be provided with the adjusted fares before notifying the public.

 

RESOLVED that

 

1)     the application from the hackney carriage proprietors requesting a fare review be accepted;

 

2)     the fares to be increased in accordance with the above recommendations and not in accordance with Appendix D of the report, as follows:

 

i)        for the first ½ mile - £3.00 (no change – to remain at £3.00);

 

ii)      for the first mile - £3.20 (an increase of 20p - as originally recommended);

 

iii)    cost for two miles - £4.85 (an increase of 5p - not 21p as originally recommended);

 

iv)    cost for five miles - £10.20 (no change – to remain at £10.20);

 

v)      cost of the running mile - £1.90 (a decrease of 1p from £1.91 as proposed);

 

vi)    to retain the metered rate as the maximum rate that can be charged and that this be clearly shown on the fare table which should be of adequate size, preferably A4.

 

3)     the Chairman be authorised to agree any minor adjustments to be consistent with calibration;

 

4)     to undertake a fare review annually.

Supporting documents: