Launch of a consultation on plans to increase taxi fares in B&NES

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Local residents have the chance to have their say on proposals to raise the cost of fares for Hackney Carriages in Bath and North East Somerset.

People are being asked to give their views on a potential 11.7% increase in the maximum fare charged by licensed Hackney Carriage vehicles in the area under the authority of Bath & North East Somerset Council.

The proposed increase is based on a long-standing formula used by the local authority to arrive at a rate increase on demand.

The calculation looks at the annual impact of inflation on automotive costs and wages, from April to April.

Specifically, it takes the annual percentage increase in the Retail Price Index of Automobile Expenses and the Retail Price Index of Average Weekly Earnings, then weighted 50/50, calculates the applied inflation rate.

A consultation on the proposal is ongoing for eight weeks to give those who may be affected by an increase in the table of maximum fares allowed to charge for carriages in the licensing authority area the opportunity to express their point of view.

The council says it recognizes that many residents rely on taxis as an essential means of transport, particularly in areas where the provision of private hire services may be reduced.

Councilor Tim Ball, Cabinet Member for Planning and Licensing, said: ‘It is extremely important that we get people’s views as we need to balance the needs of the taxi industry to earn a good standard of living facing rising costs with the need for an affordable immediate hire taxi service for people who may depend on taxis as their only means of door-to-door transportation.

“Public hire taxis must be available and affordable and it is essential for an inclusive transport service that the needs of passengers with disabilities are understood, and accessible taxis for hire immediately are not only available but affordable.

“This is the reasoning behind the council being legally responsible for regulating the table of maximum permitted fares.”

Currently the taxi fare for a one mile journey in Bath and North East Somerset is £4.80, rising to £7.20 for a two mile journey. Fares were last increased in 2020.

The table showing the current cab fare position of B&NES compared to other local authorities can be found here.

The proposed fare increase only applies to licensed Hackney Carriages in Bath and North East Somerset. These are the taxis that are available for hire from Hackney Carriage public stations.

The proposal does not affect charges for private rental vehicles that are pre-booked through a carrier using phone or app-based service.

The council has no control over the rates put in place by private hire companies and so it is essential that the council balances the potentially higher cost of private hire services and provides an affordable alternative immediate hire option whilst ensuring that providing a Hackney Carriage service is still an attractive proposition to existing and potential licensees.

Once all responses have been reviewed, if the proposal is accepted, formal legal proceedings will then be initiated and a public notice issued allowing fourteen days for further objections to be considered by the Cabinet Member.

To participate in the consultation, people can go online or visit Bath Welfare, Housing and Advice Service in Manvers Street, formerly the One Stop Shop, or Keynsham & Midsomer Norton Library and Information Services.

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