Taxi passengers in South Tyneside could soon be facing a fare hike of 3%, it has been revealed.
The borough council has received a request from the borough’s Hackney Carriage Association to increase its scale of charges.
Three per cent is not enoughDavid Gill
If agreed, it would mean that on Tariff One, for journeys taken between 7am and 10pm, the cost of the first two miles of a passenger’s journey would rise by 20p from £5 to £5.20, with the cost of a five-mile journey increasing by 40p to £10.80.
When compared to the cost of taxi journeys in neighbouring authorities, the proposed hike would still put charges behind the highest charging area – Newcastle – where the first two miles cost £5.60.
But it would be costlier to travel in South compared to North Tyneside, where comparable charges are at £3.20 for one mile and £10.60 for five miles.
The council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee is to be asked to endorse or reject the changes when it meets on Friday.
Taxi driver David Gill, who has worked in the trade for three decades, believes the proposed increase “doesn’t go far enough”.
He said: “It costs me £40 a day and £200 a week to keep my cab on the road because of the licensing, and the fuel and the repairs are horrendous.
“We are not making any money.
“Last week I did six jobs and five of them made £20, an average of £4 each.
“Three per cent is not enough, I think we are miles behind.”
A report to the committee says: “Whilst the council is entitled to fix the table of fares, it has been customary for many years in South Tyneside and in neighbouring areas for the Hackney Carriage trade itself to request a variation on the basis that the charge for their service is principally a commercial consideration.
“The council, of course, must also consider the likely effect any increase may have on the travelling public.”
7am to 10pm, in South Tyneside.
•One mile journey
Current – £3.40
Proposed – £3.40 (no change)
•Two mile journey
Current – £5
Proposed – £5.20 (4%)
•Three mile journey
Current - £6.80
Proposed - £7 (2.9%)
•Four mile journey
Current - £8.60
Proposed - £9 (4.6% rise)
•Five mile journey
Current - £10.40
Proposed £10.80 (3.8% rise)
Members of the council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee are to meet in the committee suite at South Shields Town Hall from 10am on Friday to consider the application.
The last increase in charges was approved by the committee in November 2013.