Hartepool taxi drivers seeking tariff rise

Taxi drivers in Hartepool want fare rises
Taxi drivers in Hartepool want fare rises

Taxi drivers in Hartlepol are calling on council chiefs to give them a pay rise.

They want the price of all hackney carriage journeys in Hartlepool to rise by by 30p and a report to go before the Hartlepool Borough Council Licensing Committee says that would apply to all journeys - regardless of the distance or time it takes place.

The application comes after the proposal for an increase in tariffs was supported at the annual general meeting of hackney carriage owners in February.

The proposed increase in tariffs applies only to hackney carriages as licensing authorities have no power to set fares for private hire vehicles.

The last increase happened in October 2015 and, according to a report, Hartlepool’s hackney carriage tariffs for a two mile journey would be the joint eight cheapest out of all taxi licensing authorities after the increase.

It is currently the fifth cheapest.

The national average for a two mile journey is £5.87, compared to £4.80, should the Hartlepool increase be approved.

An additional proposal is that the current surcharge of £2.00 imposed where a vehicle carries a fifth passenger, should increase to £2.50.

A report from Tony Hanson, the council’s assistant director of environmental and neighbourhood services, recommends the increases are approved.

He said: “Any increase in tariffs must reflect a balance between allowing licensed drivers to generate a reasonable income whilst representing value for money for the travelling public.

“If adopted the proposal would result in an increase of 30p for all hackney carriage journeys – irrespective of the distance of that journey, or the time it takes place.

“With regard to the proposed 50p increase in the surcharge for carrying a fifth passenger, this would apply only to the small number of vehicles that are licensed to carry five or more passengers.”

If councillors approve the proposed tariff increase a public notice will be issued to inform residents.

If there are no public objections within 14 days the increase would be implemented shortly after, or the matter will return to the licensing committee if objections are received.

A decision will be made at the licensing committee meeting on Wednesday.