Council reveal decision over plans to introduce taxi booking fees

The North West Evening Mail writes that COUNCIL bosses have decided against introducing a mandatory booking fee for taxi passengers following a backlash from the trade.

Members of Barrow Council’s licensing committee were recommended to approve a proposed booking fee of up to £3.50 for taxis at its latest meeting.

But councillors decided against introducing that fee after opposition from taxi drivers.

A number of representatives from the Furness Taxi Trade Association had previously railed against a proposed hike in fares, staging a protest outside the town hall.

And there was more opposition from the trade at the meeting as taxi driver George Harkin spoke against introducing booking fees.

A report by the licensing committee said: “The Committee accepted that the Hackney Carriage Drivers knew their trade and from the responses received, none of them wanted an increase in fares, therefore, the Committee agreed that there were no reasons to adopt other available options.

“It was explained that at a drivers meeting 71 drivers voted to postpone the review until the same time next year.

“The reason for this is that operators have recently agreed to raise fares to the same level as the hackney rate.

“The cost to the Hackney Carriage trade in changing the tariffs on their meters, was disproportionate to the fare increase. There were likely to be objections to the fare increase from the Hackney Carriage trade, requiring a further review and consultation.”

A working group has been set up for taxi drivers and councillor to interact.

It follows a number of recent disputes between the Barrow Council and members of the taxi trade that have broken out due to proposed changes to taxi bylaws.