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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:42 pm 
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Fury over Highland taxi fare hike plans

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/ne ... ike-plans/

Hailing a taxi in the Highlands will become more expensive than taking an equivalent ride in Edinburgh, if councillors vote through proposed fare increases tomorrow.

The basic cost of the first mile on a weekday will rise from £4 to £4.50, as opposed to £3.85 in Edinburgh and £3.60 in Moray.

The price per mile after that will go from £1.80 to £2 in Highland.

The tariffs for more expensive periods such as night-time, weekends and the festive season will also rise, with the price starting at £5.80 for the first mile, (formerly £4.70) and fares per mile starting at £2.50 (formerly £1.90)

At Christmas and New Year these fares could start at £6.80 for the first mile.

The book-ahead fee will see a 100% increase from 50p to £1, and drivers will be allowed to charge their passengers for any airport parking charges incurred.

Public responses to the consultation dubbed the proposals “ridiculous” and “a rip-off”.

Objectors highlighted the impact on the elderly and those dependent on taxis, for whom fares are already a major expense.

At Castle Wynd yesterday, cabbies Gary Johnson and Mike Hayward said trade during the day was already dead, due to the high level of fares.

Mr Johnson said: “I had a regular customer whose fare to Alness Place was £5. When it went up to £6.20 after the last increase, I never saw her again.”

Mr Hayward added: “Recently a lady walked past and we shouted to her, ‘taxi?’ and she said ‘not today, you’re too expensive’.”

Nine taxi drivers or companies replied to the public consultation, with all but one opposing the increases.

Inverness driver Rod Hill said if they go through, he won’t change his meter.

He said: “I feel the proposed review will kill the already stretched taxi trade in the city.”

Fort William driver Colin Maclean said the fare rises could prove “catastrophic” to the long-term survival of his business, which includes use by the Belford Hospital to provide 24hr on call patient transport.

A lone voice in favour came from Raymond Munro, managing director of Sneckie Taxis in Inverness.

He said his business overheads had increased by more than 20% in the past 18 months.
“If fares are fixed at a level higher than the market can stand, the trade is free to reduce them,” he wrote in his letter of support.

A Highland Council spokeswoman said: “The licensing committee will consider the representations received following advertisement of the proposed tariff, all other further information before it and any submission which any taxi operator attending the meeting may make to the committee at the meeting, and thereafter agree a final tariff.”

Any new tariff would take effect from November.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:44 pm 
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Quote:
Mr Hayward added: “Recently a lady walked past and we shouted to her, ‘taxi?’ and she said ‘not today, you’re too expensive’.”


Not a good idea to admit to touting in the local press 8-[

Quote:
Inverness driver Rod Hill said if they go through, he won’t change his meter.


Never heard that one before 8-[


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:40 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Quote:
Mr Hayward added: “Recently a lady walked past and we shouted to her, ‘taxi?’ and she said ‘not today, you’re too expensive’.”


Not a good idea to admit to touting in the local press 8-[

Quote:
Inverness driver Rod Hill said if they go through, he won’t change his meter.


Never heard that one before 8-[



that's fine as long as they are deregulated like we are :wink:

But I must admit for a rural area that is quite pricey especially as I doubt they have too many short journeys

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:03 pm 
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edders23 wrote:

But I must admit for a rural area that is quite pricey especially as I doubt they have too many short journeys


Inverness population 50-60,000 so imagine they get a lot of short fares. And problem with rural areas up there is that very sparsely populated, so not many people actually going there.

But the Highland Council area is huge and much of it sparsely populated, and at a rough guess I suspect outside Inverness there's a lot of off-meter work.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:52 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Quote:
Mr Hayward added: “Recently a lady walked past and we shouted to her, ‘taxi?’ and she said ‘not today, you’re too expensive’.”


Not a good idea to admit to touting in the local press 8-[

Quote:
Inverness driver Rod Hill said if they go through, he won’t change his meter.


Never heard that one before 8-[



I bet he's one of the first ones to have his meter changed.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:02 pm 
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The drivers do realise the fare indicated on the meter is the maximum they can charge ? If drivers want to charge their regulars less, they can. (and join the race to the bottom!)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:33 pm 
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No change to daytime taxi rates in Highland

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/ne ... -highland/

Standard daytime taxi fares will stay the same in Highland, but other tariffs are set to rise steeply in November.

That was the final decision of the Highland Licensing Committee which met in Inverness yesterday to determine the rates after a public consultation.

Members of the Inverness Taxi Alliance, self-employed drivers and representatives of Sneckie Taxis attended the meeting and made representation to the committee members.

Sneckie Taxis boss Raymond Munro spoke strongly in favour of tariff increases, citing increasing overheads and the cost of employing drivers.

Sneckie driver Scott Burnie said he would welcome a tariff increase especially when it came to payment for working unsocial hours, while his colleague Lillian Fox said she would also welcome a pay rise.

She said: “We offer a meaningful and valuable service especially when it comes to wheelchair access.”

Duncan Fraser, of Inverness Taxi Alliance, which represents around a third of the sector in Inverness, argued that the public could not take the price rises, and that the tariff should stay unchanged.

He said: “Fort William and Thurso, less affluent areas, don’t want rises at all. Fuel prices haven’t gone up in the last four years. We think tariff 1 (£1.80 per mile) should remain unchanged.”

Self-employed driver Bill Cowan said there had already been a sharp decline in business.

He said: “People are paying plenty for taxis, there is no need for any increase.”

Licensing committee chairman councillor Ian Cockburn said during the consultation the committee had travelled to Dingwall, Wick and Fort William to speak with cabbies.

Having listened to their views, he proposed the basic tariff, at £1.80 per running mile should remain unchanged, a motion agreed by the rest of the committee.

They also voted that Tariff 2, for night time passengers and larger vehicles, day or night should go up from £1.90 per running mile to £2.30, and Tariff 3, for Boxing Day and January 2 should go to £2.70 per running mile.

Two new tariffs were agreed for Christmas and New Year, Tariff 4 at £3.60 per running mile for smaller vehicles, and Tariff 5 for vehicles with more than five passengers at £4.50.

Booking fees will double, to £1 and airport car parking costs can now be charged to the customer if accompanied by a receipt.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:12 pm 
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For what it's worth, a bit more about the clash between the independent taxi drivers in Inverness and the firm Sneckie Taxis which wanted the increases.

According to the piece Sneckie actually employs drivers, while obviously the ITA drivers are self-employed.

Festive taxi fares set to rise in the Highlands

https://www.inverness-courier.co.uk/New ... 082018.htm

THERE will be no change to standard daytime taxi fares across the Highlands – though passengers could face higher charges for holiday periods from this November.

At a meeting of the Highland Licensing Committee rival taxi operators collided in a debate over fares.

While representatives of the 150-member Inverness Taxi Alliance (ITA) argued against new tariff proposals drafted by Highland Council the city-based Sneckie Taxis were in favour.

Opposing what he considered "crippling" proposed increases, Duncan Fraser of the 150-member ITA accused Sneckie Taxis of supporting tariff rises to suit "their own business concept," which, he claimed, was "a small part of the trade throughout the Highlands".

Sneckie Taxis directly employs drivers as staff while ITA drivers are hired on a self-employed basis.

Mr Fraser argued that if draft figures in the committee’s agenda papers were agreed, "those from the furthest out areas are going to be the hardest hit".

He highlighted "phenomenal" price rises of "between 20 per cent and 40 per cent" which, he reminded councillors, were way above inflation.

Sneckie Taxis counter-argued that the basic tariff had not been raised for seven years, so the proposed rise "would make it proportional to the rest of Scotland".

The firm’s managing director, Raymond Munro, told councillors he was simply requesting "a reasonable return to cover the costs that we have operating this business".

The committee heard that taxi drivers and firms across the Highlands had been consulted on the changes and in the end it was agreed that there would be no change to the basic tariff for a taxi carrying up to four passengers, with a charge of £4 for the first mile and £1.80 thereafter.

Per mile rates for Good Friday, Easter Monday and May Day, though, are set to rise from £4.70 for the first mile and £1.90 thereafter to £4.70 and £2.30 respectively.

On Christmas Day/ Boxing Day and January 1 and 2 per mile rates will go up from £5.70/ £2.40 to £6/ £2.70.

Two new tariffs have also been introduced for the festive period.

For vehicles carrying up to four passengers between 6pm on Christmas Eve and 6am on Boxing Day and between the same times on Hogmanay and January 2 the charge will be £6.60 for the first mile and £3.60 per mile thereafter.

For larger taxis the charge will be £7.30 for the first mile and £4.50 after that.

These are the maximums drivers will be allowed to charge.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Fraser said: "The committee came to fair conclusions so far as we’re concerned. Drivers are still making a reasonable living.

"Some of them maybe have to work longer hours than we used to, but nothing is easy for anybody in the economic climate at the moment.

"We could have done without the huge rises for the two days at Christmas and New Year but I’m sure the public will understand that there could be discounts on offer on those days.

"This is a balance to meet the public needs but we also had to make sure the rise did not override the wishes of Fort William and Wick, which are less affluent than Inverness."

Mr Munro declined to comment.

The council will formally advise taxi firms of the tariffs, giving them 14 days to appeal.

If there is no appeal, the new charges will take effect on November 19.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:16 pm 
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Quote:
"This is a balance to meet the public needs but we also had to make sure the rise did not override the wishes of Fort William and Wick, which are less affluent than Inverness."


Small towns 166 miles apart, with little more than sheep inbetween, apart from Inverness.

Does demonstrate the difficulties of setting a single tariff structure for such a huge, disparate area :shock:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:22 pm 
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Sneckie Taxis counter-argued that the basic tariff had not been raised for seven years, so the proposed rise "would make it proportional to the rest of Scotland".

Struggle to argue with that.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:59 am 
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More on the fares conflict between one taxi firm in Inverness which apparently employs drivers, and the rest of the trade in the Highland Council area, which is the geographically largest local authority in the UK.

Fares rise 'could be the final blow' taxi firms claim

https://www.north-star-news.co.uk/News/ ... 082018.htm

ROSS-shire taxi firms fear they are being pushed to the edge by "yet another" fare increase imposed by Highland Council.

The Highland licensing committee last week agreed new tariffs that will see increases for Christmas and New Year, as well as Easter and May Day.

Representatives of Inverness Taxi Alliance (ITA) argued against the move, with member Duncan Fraser saying it would be "crippling".

However, Sneckie Taxis counter-argued that the basic tariff had not been raised for seven years, so the proposed rise "would make it proportional to the rest of Scotland".

Douglas Hiddleston, owner of Black Isle 24 Hour Taxis, said the increase was "ridiculous".

"They’re killing the taxi trade," he said. "It’s already on its knees and this could be the final blow.

"All these fare increases are just encouraging people with unlicensed taxis and their ‘Facebook lifts schemes’ to get stronger and carry on competing with the trade."

Louise Carle, manager of Dingwall’s long-established C&E Taxis, echoed the concern, saying customers would not put up with it.

Ms Carle said: "I really don’t think our passengers are going to be OK with this.

"The customer is already paying quite an extortionate amount of money – more than they used to."

She added: "Over on this side of the bridge we have a lot of small jobs and we have a lot of older people.

"We really think the taxis are expensive enough."

Prior to last week’s licensing committee decision, the ITA and Sneckie Taxis clashed horns over the proposed increases.

Opposing what he considered "crippling" increases, Mr Fraser, of the 150-member ITA, accused Sneckie Taxis’ of supporting tariff rises to suit "their own business concept," which, he claimed, was "a small part of the trade throughout the Highlands".

Sneckie Taxis’ employs drivers as staff while ITA drivers are hired on a provisional basis.

Mr Fraser argued that if tariffs went up those from the outlying areas would be hardest hit".

Sneckie Taxis’ managing director Raymond Munro told councillors he was simply requesting "a reasonable return to cover the costs that we have operating this business".


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:03 am 
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When is someone going to take these morons to one side and tell them that they do not have to charge the full rate. They can charge less if they want but I suspect that they wont.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:18 pm 
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ROSS-shire taxi firms fear they are being pushed to the edge by "yet another" fare increase imposed by Highland Council.

I thought this was first one in seven years :?:

"All these fare increases are just encouraging people with unlicensed taxis and their ‘Facebook lifts schemes’ to get stronger and carry on competing with the trade."


and are the trade talking to the L.O. s about doing something about it :?:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:39 pm 
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What is it lately with all these drivers and firms NOT wanting a pay increase ? #-o #-o


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:05 pm 
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Quote:
"The customer is already paying quite an extortionate amount of money – more than they used to."

What kind of numpty trade member says something like that? #-o

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