Taxi fare hike in South Tyneside put on hold

Cabbie Paul Pearce wants a fare rise, and is supported by Coun Gladys Hobson.
Cabbie Paul Pearce wants a fare rise, and is supported by Coun Gladys Hobson.

A decision on whether to increase taxi fares in South Tyneside has been put on hold.

 The council has received a request from the borough’s Hackney Carriage Association to increase its scale of charges by 3%.

I do understand why they need an increase

Gladys Hobson

 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.

Paul Pearce, chairman of the Hackney Carriage Association, said the request was justified because of increases in fuel and insurance.

 But at a meeting of the council’s licensing and regulatory committee yesterday, members decided more evidence was needed to back up the demand.

A decision was deferred to enable that evidence to be produced.

At the meeting, committee member Coun Gladys Hobson indicated her view that the rise should go ahead.

She said: “We’re talking about the increasing cost of motoring, and as well as insurance and fuel, there is also the cost of the depreciation on these vehicles.

“I think that the standard of vehicles in South Tyneside has risen in recent years. There used to be some very tacky vehicles on the road but now we have disabled access vehicles and some very nice vehicles.

“I can understand why the operators need to have an increase. It is not easy to maintain these vehicles, and they need to be replaced on a regular basis. I would be prepared to move this.”

Members were told that the last fare increase in the borough was agreed in 2013.