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Proposal to Increase Hackney Carriage Fare Tariffs.
Lee Morgan (Licensing
Manager) presented the report, which asked the Taxi and General Committee to consider the proposals set out in the report with a view to
recommending to Cabinet an increase in the hackney carriage fare tariff, in light
of requests received from members of the taxi trade.
Members were reminded that in accordance with Section 65 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous
Provisions) Act 1976, a local authority may fix and vary the rates or fares
within their district and all other charges in connection with the hire of a
hackney carriage. However, prior to
bringing into force any changes, the Authority must publicise its proposals in
the local press for a period of fourteen days to allow for any objections.
Mr Morgan explained that there are currently 290 licensed hackney
carriage vehicles across the borough and the tariff of fares sets out the
maximum tariff that those drivers may charge for a journey. The tariff of fares details the hours of
operation that the tariff is applicable for, and also sets the charge for a
‘waiting time’, for example where a passenger could stop by a shop during the
course of their journey and ask the driver to wait for them.
It was noted that the current hackney carriage fare tariff was last
revised in 2018, and a table displaying the current fares was set out at
Appendix A of the report. Members were
also asked to note the daytime and night-time tariffs in effect and the tariff
rates available for different sizes of vehicles (1-4 passengers and 5-8
Mr Morgan referenced the current financial uncertainty arising from
recent global events and the rise in living costs, and explained that two
proposals were submitted to the Licensing Department in November 2021 and
December 2021 requesting that the Council revise the hackney carriage fare
tariffs currently in operation. One
request was received from Mr George Edwards of the Caerphilly County Borough
Taxi Drivers Association, and the other from Mr Robert Salter, a local hackney
carriage vehicle proprietor. These
proposals were set out at Appendix D of the report, and both proposals also
suggested changes to the waiting time and the times for Tariff 2 to be applied.
All three elements of the proposals were set out at Sections 3.2 and
5.19 of the report for consideration by the Committee, who were asked to make a
suitable recommendation to Cabinet in respect of their preferred
proposals. It was noted that both
parties had been invited to the Committee meeting to speak in support of their
proposals if they so wished.
The Taxi and General Committee were referred to the National Hackney
Carriage Table of Fares included as a comparison at Appendix B and referenced
in Section 5.3 of the report. Members
also noted the table showing 2-mile tariff comparisons across Wales at Appendix
C of the report.
Members were advised that since the last tariff review in 2018, there
has been an increase in the cost of living, particularly in relation to fuel
prices, and Section 5.5 of the report highlighted 32.6%
increase for petrol and 37% for diesel since 2018.
It was explained that following receipt of the proposals to revise the
tariff, the local authority consulted with licensed drivers and proprietors of
hackney carriages in the borough. This
consultation was carried out electronically between 28th January 2022 and 12th
February 2022, and information together with a survey form was circulated to
the trade detailing each proposal and the prospective fares based on 1 to 5
miles and 10 mile journeys. This
information was set out at Appendix E of the report.
Members were directed to a typographical error contained within the
proposed options table at Appendix E, which was contained in proposal A for a 2
mile journey under Tariff 1 and should read an increase of £0.60 and not £0.40
as detailed. This has been amended and
the corrected version was shown at Appendix F of the report.
It was noted that there
were a total of 32 responses received to the consultation exercise, with 29 out
of the 32 respondees agreeing that the existing
tariff should be revised, 19 out of 32 respondees
(58.06%) were in favour of Proposal B, and 11 out of 32 respondees
(35.37%) were in favour of Proposal A.
Members were asked to note that the consultation was conducted prior to
the escalation of the situation in the Ukraine and the impact upon fuel prices.
Members noted Appendix F of
the report which showed the prospective fares arising from each proposal side
by side, together with the relevant increase.
Aside from the tariff increase, the Committee were also referred to the
other two elements under consideration at the meeting, namely a request to
increase the waiting time from 10 pence per 30 seconds to 20 pence per 30
seconds, and the time that Tariff 2 should come into effect. Members were advised there is currently a
daytime/evening split for Tariff 2, and one proposal advocated that this should
not come into effect until 10pm and remain in place until 6am, and the other
advocated that Tariff 2 should come into effect across the weekend, from Friday
evening at 7pm until Monday morning at 7am.
The Committee were referred
to Section 5.12 of the report, which asked Members to consider the proposals
set out in the report and to recommend a preferred proposal to Cabinet. In addition to the recommendation from this
Committee, Cabinet will be asked to note that following the statutory 14 day
public consultation period, if no objections are received, the fare tariff shall
come into effect immediately. If any
objections are received, then Cabinet will receive a further report to consider
these and to approve the fare tariff with or without modification and to
determine the date upon the revised tariff should come into effect.
Members were reminded that the consultation was conducted prior to the
commencement of events in Ukraine which have had a significant impact on fuel
prices, and so it could be the case that some of the comments and views
expressed by the trade at that time might have changed given the subsequent
impact on the licensed trade.
The Committee were advised that the revised cost of a two mile journey
would be £5.70 under Proposal B and £6.00 under Proposal A, which would both be
under the UK national average of £6.06 per two-mile journey. Members were reminded that from the
consultation, the majority of respondents supported an increase the waiting
time from 10p per 30 seconds to 20p per 30 seconds. However, the consensus was split across the
operation of Tariff 2 and whether to maintain the current timings (7pm to 7am)
or apply Tariff 2 across weekends, the latter of which would result in a higher
cost for people travelling over the weekend.
It was noted that only 4 respondents were in favour of the other
proposal put forward to increase Tariff 2 between 10pm to 6am 7 days a week.
In taking these proposals into consideration, Members were asked to
have due regard to the cost of fuel and the impact on the trade, but to also to
balance the need for taxi travel to be affordable to the public.
The Licensing Manager was thanked for his report and questions were
invited from the Committee. One Member
acknowledged the complexity of the proposals, the continuing rise in living
costs and inflation rates since the proposals were submitted in November 2021
and December 2021, and the need to take these continued rises into
consideration as part of the Committee’s recommendations. The Member also referenced the lack of
consultation responses received from the trade and suggested that a higher
response rate would have been useful for the Committee to gauge the general
strength of feeling across the whole of the trade regarding these proposals
which are of the upmost importance to their livelihoods.
Mr Morgan confirmed that all licensed drivers and hackney carriage
proprietors across the county borough had been consulted on the proposals. 32 responses were received from 370
consultees (as some hold a joint Hackney Carriage and private hire vehicle
driver license) and every effort was made by the Licensing Department to
encourage all eligible participants to complete the consultation form. Mr Morgan also acknowledged that it has been
four years since the last fare increase and so the requests to increase the
tariff had been anticipated, particularly given the recent rise in living
It was noted that Mr George Edwards (Caerphilly County Borough Taxi
Drivers Association) was in attendance and he was invited to address the
Committee. Mr Edwards outlined his
reasons for submitting Proposal B, which advocated an increase to tariffs of
between 10p-60p per mile across Tariffs 1-5, together with a request for the
waiting time to be increased from 10p per 30 seconds to 20p per 30 seconds, and
Tariff 2 to be implemented from 19:00 on Fridays until 07:00 on Mondays.
Mr Edwards explained that many trade members had called for a larger
increase in fares, particularly in view of the rising costs of living, but it
had since been acknowledged that this was not feasible and so proposing a small
increase would still be of benefit to the taxi trade whilst not significantly
impacting on the costs of taxi hire by the public. The trade wished for Tariff
2 to be implemented on the weekends (19:00 on Friday until 07:00 on Mondays) so
that all drivers would see the benefits of the increase, including daytime
drivers, and this small increase would help drivers with the rising cost of
living. Mr Edwards explained that this
proposal was felt to be sensible and proportionate by the trade, as having a
10-pence increase (across Tariffs 1 and 2) would only equate to £1.00 extra
income for the driver over a 5-mile journey.
Mr Edwards made reference to the other proposal submitted (Proposal A)
and explained that if this were to be implemented, the trade would effectively
be taking a step back as this proposal reflected the tariff situation prior to
2018. He asked that if Members were not
minded to support the change to Tariff 2 across the weekend, then they maintain
the current situation where Tariff 2 applies 07:00 to 19:00.
Mr Edwards also highlighted the most recent hackney carriage fare
increase in 2018 and explained that because there was such a significant
increase in fares at that time, following a number of years where there was no
increase, this led to an adverse impact on the trade where the public were
reluctant to use taxis for a period of time because of the increased
costs. Mr Edwards suggested that moving
forward, it would be sensible to have smaller and more frequent increases every
two years, rather than a significant increase in fares every five to ten years.
The Taxi and General Committee discussed the report and the proposals
that had been put forward by the trade representatives. Clarification was sought on whether there had
been a change in the number of members across the taxi trade since the
consultation was undertaken. Mr Morgan
confirmed that the figures had not significantly changed since consultation was
undertaken, and there were around 400 licensed hackney carriage and private
hire vehicle drivers in the county borough.
A Member asked Mr Edwards if there had been an influx of taxi drivers
following the last tariff increase in 2018.
Mr Edwards confirmed that membership has generally been at a consistent
level, although the trade suffered the loss of some drivers during the pandemic
and are finding difficulty in securing new drivers due to the general
uncertainty around the industry at this time.
Mr Edwards also emphasised that the CCBTDA do not want a massive increase
in meter tariffs as this could lead to the public choosing not to use taxis due
to the rising costs.
A Member asked Mr Edwards if the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and
the removal of the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport would
have an impact on the trade. Mr Edwards
explained that many drivers prefer face coverings to be worn by passengers to
protect the driver and their families, but that this is something that cannot
be enforced by the driver, and so there is a mixed approach on the position
taken by drivers as they do not want to refuse the fare and lose the income
from that journey. Mr Edwards added that
over the past few weeks, the trade has seen an increase in customer numbers but
have also started to see an increase in the number of passengers that no longer
wish to wear face coverings.
The Licensing Manager sought clarification from Mr Edwards on whether
he still wished for Proposal B to be put forward as the preferred option from
the Committee from the two proposals under consideration. Mr Edwards confirmed that this was correct
as he felt that Proposal B would have a lesser impact with regard to the public
and their use of taxis as the proposed increase in fares would be smaller than
the other proposal.
A Member asked if Mr Edwards, if the larger increase of 10% were to be
implemented, if the trade would then be able to use their discretion to adjust
their tariffs as they saw fit below this rise, or if it would be more conducive
for the trade to be provided with a set tariff.
Mr Edwards explained that there would be a cost to all drivers across
the trade to have their meters adjusted to the new tariff, irrespective of
whether Proposal A or Proposal B was adopted, and that the trade are permitted
to charge below the meter tariff but cannot charge above it.
It was noted at this point that Mr Robert Salter (Relay Taxis) had
joined the meeting, and he was invited to address the Committee in respect of
his proposal. Mr Salter outlined his
reasons for submitting Proposal A, which advocated an increase of approximately
10% across all tariffs, together with a request for the waiting time to be
increased from 10p per 30 seconds to 20p per 30 seconds and for Tariff 2 to be
implemented from 22:00 to 06:00 7 days a week.
Mr Salter explained that as there has been no tariff increase for
almost four years, he felt that a 10% increase across the board would be fair
as this would equate to a 2.5% increase per year. Mr Salter was of the view that Tariff 2
should only apply from 22:00 to 06:00 and disagreed with the other Tariff 2
proposal put forward by Mr Edwards, explaining that this particular proposal
would be unfair to customers and have a detrimental impact on Saturday shoppers
and people going out for Sunday lunch, which comprise a significant proportion
A Member asked what impact a 10% rise would have on the hackney
carriage fare tariffs paid by passengers and Mr Morgan referred to Appendix C
of the report which provided the current fares and Appendix F showing the revised
fares against both proposals as a comparison.
The Member asked what 10% would look like across the board and it was
noted that a 10% increase against a 1 mile journey of £3.40 would equate to a
34-pence rise, making a total of £3.74, which would be slightly less than the
totals in both proposals put forward. Mr
Morgan added that he would need time to produce a revised set of figures in
full outside of the meeting, but in taking into account the first few examples
of miles in the table at Appendix F, 10% would achieve a lesser total revised
tariff compared to what had been proposed, and then the figures would increase
accordingly as the mileage increased.
A Member acknowledged the increasing financial pressures placed on the
trade and was in support of increasing the rate of waiting time in order to
recognise the demands placed on drivers and the fact that they could be missing
out on fares elsewhere. He also
acknowledged that a change to the Tariff 2 timings across the weekends could
act as an uplift to those drivers who work shifts across unsociable hours. In addition, the Member suggested that moving
forward in the long term, a solution to assist with ongoing financial pressures
faced by both drivers and customer could be to review and increase hackney
carriage fares on a more frequent basis and in smaller increments.
Following consideration of the report and the representations made, the
Taxi and General Committee considered the proposals on the amendments to the
hackney carriage fare tariff as set out in Section 3.2 of the report, in order
to make recommendations to Cabinet on the preferred proposals for approval, and
to then enable the proposals to be advertised in the press for a 14-day public
Members firstly took a show of Hands Up in respect of Recommendations
3.1(i) to 3.1(iii) to establish a general consensus
across the Taxi and General Committee in respect of their preferred option for
each recommendation. Each of the
elements producing a consensus of opinion were then moved and seconded and put
to the vote.
In respect of Recommendation 3.1(i), it was
moved and seconded that Proposal B be recommended to Cabinet for approval as
the revised hackney carriage fare tariff.
By way of Microsoft Forms (and in noting there were 4 for, 0 against and
0 abstentions) this was unanimously agreed.
In respect of Recommendation 3.1(ii), it was moved and seconded that an
increase to the ‘waiting time’ by 10 pence per 30 seconds be recommended to
Cabinet for approval. By way of
Microsoft Forms (and in noting there were 4 for, 0 against and 0 abstentions)
this was unanimously agreed.
In respect of Recommendation 3.1(iii), it was moved and seconded that
Option B be recommended to Cabinet for Tariff 2 to apply Friday 7pm to Monday
7am. By way of Microsoft Forms (and in
noting there were 4 for, 0 against and 0 abstentions) this was unanimously
It was therefore RECOMMENDED to Cabinet that:-
Proposal B be approved as
the revised hackney carriage fare tariff;
The ‘waiting time’ be
increased by 10 pence per 30 seconds to reflect a revised position of 20 pence
per 30 seconds;
Tariff 2 be applied Friday
7pm to Monday 7am.
Chair thanked everyone in attendance and the meeting closed at 11.16
- Proposal to Increase Hackney Carriage Fare Tariffs, item 3. PDF 487 KB
- Appendix A, item 3. PDF 322 KB
- Appendix B, item 3. PDF 607 KB
- Appendix C, item 3. PDF 181 KB
- Appendix D, item 3. PDF 312 KB
- Appendix E, item 3. PDF 538 KB
- Appendix F, item 3. PDF 376 KB