Hartlepool’s Hackney carriage journeys set to increase by 30p in line with taxi driver ‘living standards’

Councillors have given the go-ahead for all Hackney carriage taxi journeys in Hartlepool to rise by 30p.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 12:24 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 12:28 pm
Taxi rank, Station Approach, Hartlepool.
Taxi rank, Station Approach, Hartlepool.

It comes after the proposal for an increase in Hartlepool’s tariffs was supported at the Annual General Meeting of Hackney Carriage owners in February.

The increase will apply to all Hackney Carriage journeys regardless of the distance or time it takes place.

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However, it will not apply to private hire vehicles as licensing authorities have no power to set their fares.

Councillors on the Hartlepool Borough Council’s Licensing Committee ruled the proposals allowed licensed drivers to generate a reasonable income while representing value for money for the travelling public.

An additional proposal was also passed that the current surcharge of £2.00, which is imposed where a vehicle carries five or more passengers, will increase to £2.50.

A public notice will now be issued about the proposed increase and if no objections are received within 14 days, the increase will be implemented shortly after.

The cost of a journey is going up by 30p.

Coun Mike Young, chair of the committee, said: “From my perspective, like anyone else the taxi drivers themselves need to earn a living.

“If they’ve had this AGM and decided the fees need to go up in line with their own living standards and requirements then that’s a hugely beneficial thing to them.

“It also might encourage others to maybe come on board as taxi drivers as well, in terms of hackney carriages, which I think is something we would look to promote.”

The matter will return to the licensing committee if objections are received.

The last increase in the tariffs took place in October 2015 and, according to reports ,Hartlepool’s Hackney Carriage tariffs for a two-mile journey will be the joint eighth cheapest out of all taxi licensing authorities after the increase.

The stated national average for a two mile journey is £5.87, compared to Hartlepool’s £4.80, factoring in the increase.

Hackney Carriage drivers are prevented by law from charging more than the maximum approved tariff but there is no prohibition on a driver charging less.

Ian Harrison, trading standards and licensing manager at the council, said: “This was discussed at the Annual General Meeting. The 30p increase wasn’t actually one of the proposals that was put forward.

“There was three different proposals put forward but there wasn’t a consensus amongst those present, nobody could agree with any of those three.

“A discussion took place where they whittled it down to what would meet everyone’s needs but not be too much as to put the public off and that’s how the 30p was arrived at.”

He added there was about 450 taxi drivers currently in Hartlepool, combining both Hackney Carriages and privately owned vehicles.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service