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Borough black cab fares set to rise
BLACK cab taxi fares in Basingstoke and Deane are set to rise by at least 20p a trip later this month.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s licensing committee rubber-stamped a fare increase request from the Basingstoke and Deane Hackney Carriage Federation last Wednesday.
The 10-strong committee were divided on whether to approve the request amid concerns that it would hit the poorest residents hardest.
It was eventually passed with a casting vote from licensing chairman Councillor Diane Taylor.
She said that the federation’s request was “not unreasonable”.
However, Labour Norden councillor George Hood said that he had “grave concerns” over the proposed rise.
He said: “Although it doesn’t seem a great increase, 20p, I keep thinking about the public out there – people who have started to struggle with their income.
“I know they (the taxi drivers) are running a business, and that business has to be viable, but in the ward I represent, there are a lot of people who are struggling, and even the additional 20p, they would find a bit hard.”
The federation applied to increase fares for journeys taken between 6am and 11pm by 20p.
Under this proposal, the cost of a two-mile trip would go from £6.20 to £6.40.
Journeys from 11pm to 6am, and on bank holidays, are set to increase by 30p a trip, and 40p for trips taken between 8pm on Christmas Eve to 6am on December 27, and 11pm on New Year’s Eve to 6am on New Year’s Day.
Federation chairman Richard Ketteringham said that the cost of running a licensed black cab had increased since the last price hike in February last year.
Statistics from the AA show that from July 2011 to June 2012, the costs of keeping a cab on the road rose by two per cent, and tax and insurance costs rose by 2.5 per cent.
“The cost of everything has gone up an awful lot, so it is not an unreasonable request,” said Mr Ketteringham. “I personally think it is a reasonable amount to ask for 20p for each fare.”
The hike will come into force from February 13, providing there is no negative feedback from a two-week public consultation.
If there is a formal objection to the borough council, then the increase will be looked at again by the committee before a final decision is made.