Taxi fares to rise in South Tyneside after council give increase the go-ahead

A bid to increase taxi fares in South Tyneside is set to go ahead after winning support from councillors.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 3:40 pm
Updated Friday, 18th October 2019, 5:23 pm
South Tyneside Council has agreed to the rise is taxi fares.

Earlier this month, the borough’s Hackney Carriage Association applied to the council to increase fees.

Under a Hackney carriage licence, drivers can take on both pre-booked work and be flagged down from customers on the street.

In South Tyneside, drivers have to operate under a council fare structure which limits the maximum fee that can be charged.

The council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee agreed to approve the bid.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The shake-up will see fares rise by up to 60p for three-mile and one-mile journeys.

Other changes include a waiting time charge of 20p per 30 seconds, a £2 surcharge on Christmas Day and New Years Day and a £100 maximum fee for “fouling a vehicle.”

Councillors heard the changes would bring South Tyneside in line with other councils in the North East.

Although the new fees will only apply to Hackney carriages, licensing bosses said the wider taxi trade could be affected, including private hire firms.

At the South Shields Town Hall meeting, concerns were raised about the scheme backfiring.

This included increased competition and customers seeking alternative taxi services such as Uber.

If the new fees have a negative impact on the taxi trade, councillors were told, the committee has the power to reverse them.

The last fare increase in South Tyneside was approved around six years ago.

Although the Hackney Carriage Association applied to increase fees in 2015, the bid was withdrawn before a decision was made.

Coun Susan Traynor welcomed the new proposals.

She told the meeting: “I think we should endorse it, [the Hackney Carriage Association] have been very patient and 2015 was the last time they applied.

“If there is any backlash, we always have the option to bring it back to this committee.”

Coun Alan Smith added: “They’re the ones who are taking the risk, not us.

“We endorse it and if they find they have shot themselves in the foot then we can come back and change it.”

Before the new fees come into force, the council has to advertise the proposals for two weeks via a public notice.

If any relevant objections are received during this period they would be called back to the committee.

How hackney carriage fares are set to change in South Tyneside

For a three-mile trip, daytime tariffs (7am-10pm) could increase from £7 to £7.60 – a rise of 8.5%.

Night time fares (10pm-7am) would also see a 7.2% rise from £8.40 to £9.

For one-mile trips, journey times would increase by 60p during the day (17% rise) and 40p during the night (9% rise.)

A waiting time charge of 20p per 30 seconds will be introduced.

Surcharge of £2 to apply to all journeys on Christmas Day and New Years Day.

Maximum charges for ‘fouling vehicles’ to rise from £50 to £100.

Journey examples

Daytime Tariff (7am-10pm)

Anderson Street rank to Sunderland Road near the County Pub – £3.40 up to £4.00 ( 60p rise)

Anderson Street rank to Farmfoods near the Nook – £5.20 up to 5.80 ( 60p rise)

Anderson Street rank to Sunderland Road, New Ship – £7.00 up to £7.60 ( 60p rise)

South Shields Town Hall to Jarrow Bus Station – £8.60 up to £ 9.40 ( 80p rise)

Night-time tariff (10pm-7am)

Anderson Street rank to Sunderland Road near the County Pub £4.20 up to 4.60 ( 40p rise)

Anderson Street rank to Farmfoods near the Nook £6.20 up to £6.80 ( 60p rise)

Anderson Street rank to Sunderland Road, New Ship £8.20 up to £9.00 ( 80p rise)

South Shields Town Hall to Jarrow Bus Station £10.20 up to 11.20 ( £1.00 rise)