Taxi fares to rise by nearly 12 percent?

Library photo

People are being asked for their views on a proposed 11.7% rise to the maximum Hackney Carriage tariff charged by licensed Hackney Carriage vehicles in the area of the licensing authority of Bath & North East Somerset Council.

The proposed rise is based on a long-standing formula used by the council to arrive at a fare increase when requested to do so.

The calculation is looking at the annual impact of inflation on motoring costs and wages (April to April).  Specifically, it takes the annual percentage increase of Motoring Expenditure Retail Price Index and also Average Weekly Earnings Retail Price Index, then weighted 50/50, calculates the applied inflationary rate.

A consultation on the proposal is running for eight weeks to give people who may be affected by an increase in the maximum table of fares allowed to be charged for hackney carriages in the licensing authority’s area the opportunity to register their views.

The council recognises many residents rely on taxis for an essential form of transport, particularly in areas where the provision of private hire service may be reduced.

Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Planning and Licensing, said: “It is vitally important we get people’s views because we have to balance the needs of the taxi trade to make a good standard of living in the face of rising costs with the need for an affordable immediate hire taxi service for people who may be dependent on taxis as their only method of door-to-door transport. 

“Immediate public hire taxis should be available and affordable and it is vital for an inclusive transport service that the needs of disabled passengers are understood, and immediate hire accessible taxis are not only available but affordable.  This is the reasoning behind the council being legally responsible for regulating the maximum allowed table of fares.”

Currently the taxi fare for a one-mile journey in Bath & 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 position of B&NES current hackney carriage tariff compared to other local authorities can be found here

The proposed fare increase only applies to licensed Hackney Carriages in Bath & North East Somerset. These are the taxis that stand for hire at public Hackney Carriage ranks. 

The proposal does not affect the charges for private hire vehicles which are pre-booked through an operator using a telephone or app-based service.  The council has no control over the tariffs put in place by Private Hire companies and therefore it is essential that the council balance the potentially higher cost of private hire services and provide an affordable alternative immediate hire option whilst still ensuring that providing a Hackney Carriage service is still an attractive proposition for existing and potential licensees.

Once all responses have been considered should the proposal be accepted then the formal legal process will be enacted, and a Public Notice published allowing fourteen days for further objections to be considered by the cabinet member.

To take part people can go online or visit Bath Welfare, Housing and Advice Service in Manvers Street or Keynsham & Midsomer Norton Library and Information Services.