The Committee received a report from Mike Smith, Senior Specialist for Licensing and Community Safety. The Committee noted that the Hackney Carriage Fares were what licensed taxis charged for journeys to their customers. The fares had not been reviewed since 2019 due to the pandemic and other demands made upon the service. A review of the Hackney Carriage Fares had been undertaken using the approved methodology that involved sending a consultation questionnaire to the trade asking for their costs. The Head of Environment for Regulatory Services had delegation to approve the data inputs for the fare review. A small number of objections were received following the statutory consultation which were considered by the Lead Councillor for Environment. The new fares took effect as of 13 July 2022. The Committee noted that the Council had previously been challenged on setting its fare methodology but was dismissed by the Courts.
The Committee considered that a small number of drivers had objected to the increase in fares but wanted to know if the majority of drivers had supported the increase and would have thought this was the case, given it was the first increase in three years. Mike Smith, the Senior Specialist for Licensing and Community Safety confirmed that there were approximately 150 drivers and the same number of vehicles. A total of 8 objections were received about the fares increasing, however whilst the Licensing Team tried to engage with the trade it was unfortunate that a low response rate had resulted and reflected the fact that the trade were largely in agreement.
The Committee having discussed the report;
RESOLVED to note the review of the Hackney Carriage Fares and decision to adopt a new fare structure following public consultation.