HACKNEY cab fares in the city have risen by an extra 50p per journey, which has been met with mixed feelings.
Drivers are divided by the change in tariff, with some worried about losing custom in the current economic climate and others believing it is a realistic time to charge more as their prices go up.
Gary Graham, aged 50, from Efford, disagrees with the rise. He said: “We should never have had it. I’m annoyed and I feel sorry for the public as they’ve got to pay for it.
“I speak because I’m concerned. Me and all the drivers need to apologise to the public. The rise is affecting us as well – this is more than a nail in the coffin.”
David Couch, aged 59, from Efford, has been a taxi driver for nine years and is frustrated about the increase and what it could do to business.
“It’s just entirely the wrong time.”
Dave Feteridge, aged 52, from Stoke, also believes the change in tariff to be wrong.
He said: “When a customer gets in the cab during the day the fare starts at £3, and then after 7pm it goes up to £3.50, so an extra 50p won’t be too bad. It’s the 50p at midnight that’s wrong.
“That makes it expensive before you’ve gone anywhere. It’s just the wrong time to do it in my view.”
However, according to Plymouth City Council, The Plymouth Licensed Taxi Association (PTLA) requested that the council considered an increase to the tariff, as it is the council that sets the fares that Hackney Carriages can charge (this does not include private hire taxis).
The tariff outlines the maximum rates a driver can charge in order to protect the consumer but drivers are able to downwardly negotiate their fares should they wish and journeys outside Plymouth can be negotiated further.
The tariff was originally considered by the Licensing Committee on September 2 and a proposed new tariff was publicised via a public notice in The Herald as is required by the law.
Three objections were received by the council so a further committee discussed the proposed tariff on November 17 where it was subsequently agreed and was introduced on December 1.
A Plymouth City Council spokeswoman said: “Giving the exact increase is not easy, as the tariff was restructured and there are some changes to the list extras. However, it can be most simply described by giving the initial journey cost, which has increased by approximately 50p.
“This is the first tariff increase since June 2008. Bearing in mind the increases to the cost of fuel, it was felt that the tariff increase could be justified and Plymouth’s Hackney fleet is still very competitive.”
Alan Heron, aged 65, from Derriford, agreed this may be the right to time to make such changes.
He said: “We haven’t had an increase for three years and with fuel, insurance and maintenance costing more money, I’m pleased with the rise in tariff.”
Gary Walker, aged 47, from St Budeaux, agreed. He said: “It’s a good rise; the cost of living has gone up and fuel has gone up so the council had to do it.”