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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:46 am 
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Thought there was another recent article about fares in Barrow, but can't actually find it. So suspect it's just another of these places where fares have been frozen for eight years or so :?


Barrow taxi fares to rise for first time in up to eight years

https://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/17799536 ... ght-years/

TAXI firms in Barrow have put their prices up for the first time in up to eight years.

Last week most cab companies are understood to have increased their fares in line with the hackney rates set by licensing authority Barrow Borough Council.

For some firms, this represents the first price increase in eight years, and drivers say it is a welcome move.

Between 7am and midnight journeys will start at a minimum price of £2.40 with a 10p charge for every 30 seconds the cab is kept waiting.

Between midnight and 7am the minimum fare is £3.60 with a 15p waiting charge.

On bank holidays, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve passengers will pay a minimum of £4.80 and 20p for each 30 second wait.

Bob Mullen is from the Furness Taxi Trade Association which represents a large number of both private hire and hackney taxi drivers.

“Some firms haven’t increased their prices for eight years so this has been a long time coming,” he said.

“Barrow is a bit behind most other areas, such as South Lakeland, when it comes to fares so this just brings us in line with most other areas in the country.

“One of the reasons taxi firms haven’t increased prices before is because they don’t cooperate with each other.

“Because the firms haven’t been able to agree to increase prices before they’ve all been reluctant to do so because if the others didn’t do the same their customers would just go elsewhere.”

Earlier this month the council agreed to scrap the cap on the number of hackney taxis.

The limit had previously been set at 120 licenses.

The council is allowed by law to limit the number of hackney licenses if there is ‘no significant demand which would be unmet’.

The move follows advice from the Office of Fair Trading to lift restrictions as it limited the availability of taxis and lowered the quality of service.

There is no limit, or provision, to control the number of private hire vehicles.

Hackney taxis can wait on a rank, or be flagged down, while private hire taxis must be pre-booked.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:55 am 
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Quote:
Last week most cab companies are understood to have increased their fares in line with the hackney rates set by licensing authority Barrow Borough Council.


Well, duh #-o

Not sure what this means, precisely. Most obviously it means there are mixed fleets in Barrow, and so both HCs and PHVs have raised prices in line with the council tariff.

Or could be an element of fare discounting, but the firms have put their prices up in line with the council increase.

Or maybe it's referring to a separate PH sector, and they've put their prices up in line with the HC increase.

Or maybe the journo just isn't fully aware of how it all works - who knows?

Barrow trade rep wrote:
“One of the reasons taxi firms haven’t increased prices before is because they don’t cooperate with each other."

Not sure if that would be legal anyway.

Quote:
The move follows advice from the Office of Fair Trading to lift restrictions as it limited the availability of taxis and lowered the quality of service.

Again this makes it sound like the advice is recent, not something from 2003, or thereabouts.

According to my friend Google, the OFT was actually dissolved in 2014 :-s


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:17 pm 
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with a 10p charge for every 30 seconds the cab is kept waiting.

£12 an hour.

F***king dark ages. ](*,)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:18 pm 
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Quote:
“One of the reasons taxi firms haven’t increased prices before is because they don’t cooperate with each other.

But that would be illegal. #-o

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:20 pm 
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Quote:
Or maybe the journo just isn't fully aware of how it all works - who knows?

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:33 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
“One of the reasons taxi firms haven’t increased prices before is because they don’t cooperate with each other.

But that would be illegal. #-o

I think the co operation referred to would be in getting together and organising a proper proposal to the Council regarding the maximum fare allowed and not price fixing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:45 am 
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grandad wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Quote:
“One of the reasons taxi firms haven’t increased prices before is because they don’t cooperate with each other.

But that would be illegal. #-o

I think the co operation referred to would be in getting together and organising a proper proposal to the Council regarding the maximum fare allowed and not price fixing.


Did wonder about that, and this kind of thing raises interesting questions about the interaction between council set HC tariffs and price-fixing.

Discounting is rife on longer trips up here, for example, but I suspect that if the local firms got together and agreed *not* to discount on such trips then that might amount to illegal price-fixing.

And if you read Bob Mullen's full quote then it seems that he's probably talking about a similar thing rather than simply the council tariffs:

Bob Mullen wrote:
“Because the firms haven’t been able to agree to increase prices before they’ve all been reluctant to do so because if the others didn’t do the same their customers would just go elsewhere.”


If you look at what he said a few weeks ago about the app being launched in Barrow then he was making similar noises - it seems partly to do with competition between offices rather than the council's HC tariff:

Quote:
Bob Mullen, secretary of Furness Taxi Trade Association, said he hoped the app would provide a boost to the existing car trade in Barrow.

He said: “For a number of years now we have been saying that we would like the fares to be higher.

“I think if more drivers start using the app then it could give us a bit of a boost to the trade.

“It may liven the trade up a bit. We have been in the doldrums for a while with fares.

“Firms have been frightened to raise fares so us drivers have been stuck in the middle of that.

“It might spark them to have a rethink."


I think he's actually talking nonsense - more likely that an app would encourage competition on fares rather than the opposite.

But suspect it does illustrate the tricky blurred area between price-fixing and the regulated council HC tariff.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:07 am 
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So it looks like the fare rises announced a couple of weeks ago weren't the council-set tariff after all. Seems what was happening was that the despatch offices had agreed to charge the council HC tariff - presumably the offices were previously charging fares at a discounted rate. However, that explains the confusion in the earlier article.

But now the council is proposing to raise the HC tariff, so that would recreate a gap between the 'rank fares' and the office fares.

So the drivers are crying foul. Hardly unusual for drivers to object to a council's HC tariff rise, but unusual for them to actually mount protests about it. And they've even got a banner :shock:


Barrow taxi drivers angry at proposed fare increase

https://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/17841271 ... -increase/

Image
Image: The Mail

TAXI drivers are up in arms over a potential increase to fares for passengers in Barrow.

Dozens of drivers gathered outside the town hall yesterday to protest against a proposed hike in fares.

They say an increase of around 16 per cent in fees for Hackney Carriage cars is due to be discussed by council licensing chiefs and would be harmful for Barrow's taxi industry and a negative for passengers.

Barrow council has insisted that any changes to taxi policy have only come following consultation with the trade.

A spokesman from the Furness Taxi Trade Association said: "Drivers are disappointed and upset with the licensing department at Barrow Town Hall constantly going against the wishes of the trade, even after agreements have been reached at so-called trade liaison meetings.

"The taxi trade recently reached an agreement with local taxi operators to increase fares to a more reasonable level.

"The trade then asked the town hall to postpone any further increases to the rank rate until at least a year had passed.

"This has been ignored by the licensing department.

"Our aim has been over the last few months is to create a level playing field, so that the public can be assured that if they phone hail or hire a taxi from a rank they will be paying about the same rate.

"If the council implement this unwanted rise then this becomes impossible."

There are thought to be more than 300 licensed taxi drivers in the Barrow borough area.

The council sent out a notice to drivers asking for their opinions on the proposals, with the seven who responded voting unanimously in favour of it.

But the taxi trade association said it had asked members not to respond to the consultation.

An email sent to taxi drivers by the council said: "A review of the fares has now taken place, based on the weightings which were put forward by the trade.

"We also intend to implement a maximum booking fee within the table of fares."


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:09 am 
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Quote:
But the taxi trade association said it had asked members not to respond to the consultation.


Great idea! #-o


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:40 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Quote:
But the taxi trade association said it had asked members not to respond to the consultation.


Great idea! #-o

Madness, and IMO merely shows the so-called trade associations aren't truly representative of the trade.

Else why would they suggest drivers ignore the consultation?

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