Taxi fares in South Tyneside could rise for first time in six years

Taxi fares in South Tyneside could rise for the first time in six years under new proposals.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 4:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th October 2019, 8:06 pm
Councillors at South Tyneside Council as set to discuss the proposal on Friday, October 18.

This week, South Tyneside Council will consider a request from the borough’s Hackney Carriage Association 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-set fare structure which limits the maximum fee for customers.

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If new proposals are approved, it would be the first time fees have risen in the borough since 2013.

Although the changes only apply to hackney carriages, they’re expected to have a wider impact on the borough’s taxi trade, including private hire firms.

What is proposed?

The Hackney Carriage Association last made a bid to increase fees in 2015 before withdrawing the proposals.

New plans set out charges based on two types of trips.

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.)

Other changes include a waiting time charge of 20p per 30 seconds and a £2 surcharge on Christmas Day and New Years Day.

The maximum charge taxi drivers can pursue for customers ‘fouling vehicles’ could also increase from a maximum of £50 to £100 under the plans.

Council decision

A final decision on the fees will be made on Friday, October 18 at South Shields Town Hall.

Options open to the Licensing and Regulatory Committee include approving, rejecting or varying the proposals.

A report prepared for councillors also states the proposed fees are similar to charges elsewhere in the North East.

It reads: “Because of the length of time since the last increase comparisons with fares in other neighbouring authorities demonstrates that South Tyneside has fallen behind some of its Tyne and Wear neighbours.

“It is near the bottom of the national league tables for charges recorded in the Private Hire Monthly magazine.

“The proposals are not significantly out of step with what is charged elsewhere in the North East area.”

The meeting starts at 10am and is open to the public.

How fees for journeys in South Tyneside could change

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)