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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:46 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 7:55 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 8:17 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 8:18 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 8:20 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 8:33 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: Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:45 pm 
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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 9:07 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 9:09 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 6:40 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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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:04 pm 
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Council reveal decision over plans to introduce taxi booking fees

https://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/17980535 ... king-fees/

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.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:14 pm 
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Barrow Council wrote:
"The reason for this is that operators have recently agreed to raise fares to the same level as the hackney rate."


So the upshot of all this is that there will be no increase in the council tariff even after eight years? :shock:

Of course, as per the earlier articles and comments, in effect there *has* been a rise because 'operators' are now charging the HC rate, which I suspect means both HC and PH despatch offices (probably mixed fleets of HC and PH working from same offices there, I'd guess).

But you have to read between the lines a bit to work that out, which reflects what I said this morning about the interaction between HC and PH fares being mentioned in such articles, but most often in a way that has to be teased out rather than actually stated in the piece.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:57 pm 
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Well looks like the booking fee is back on again :-s


Taxi passengers may soon have to stump up for a new booking fee

https://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/18016225 ... oking-fee/

TAXI passengers across the Barrow area may have to stump up for a new booking fee - if councillors back the idea this week.

A Barrow Borough Council committee meets on Thursday to discuss a booking charge - initially put at £3.50.

The proposal would apply to Hackney Carriage operators or those taxis which can be hailed in the street or caught from a rank.

Other local councils such as Lancaster add a £4 booking fee for Hackney Carriage drivers.

Barrow council's licensing regulatory committee appeared to rule out the idea last month. But following feedback from the taxi trade, councillors are being asked to 'reconsider'.

Ubaro, a recently-launched Uber-style taxi-booking system for the borough, is in favour and has urged the council to go-ahead.

It said: "Having looked at a number of other areas across the country, Barrow Borough Council is the only authority that does not seem to have the requested booking fee currently in operation."

However, another Hackney Carriage taxi driver told the council they strongly objected and warned it would cause 'confusion' about taxi rates.

The Furness Taxi Trade Association, which represents more than 120 Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers, has backed a booking fee in a vote.

The council has 283 licensed drivers on its books - 96 are Hackney, 120 private hire and 53 hold a dual license.

A report to go before councillors said the 'majority' of the local taxi trade supported the booking fee.

It said: "It is in the public interest for consumers to have a choice and different options available when ordering a taxi."

It said there is 'no compelling evidence' that it would 'adversely affect' the public or taxi trade.

"Operators have discretion whether to charge a booking fee. It is likely some operators will not charge the booking fee," said the council report.

The committee, chaired by Cllr Tony Callister, will be asked to choose one of two options at a meeting in the town hall.

Cllr Callister, the Labour member for Walney North, declined to comment on the proposal as he did not want to pre-determine any decision made on Thursday.

The committee could vote to introduce a booking fee - although this would require further consultation.

Alternatively, the committee may disregard the idea and make no change.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:17 pm 
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The committee could vote to introduce a booking fee - although this would require further consultation.

You have to wonder how much consultation they actually need?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:38 pm 
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Interesting comment on the newspaper's website, presumably from a proprietor of one of the Barrow offices:

George Harkin wrote:
On october the 3rd 2019 the members of the licensing regulatory committee UNANIMOUSLY agreed NOT to allow a Booking Fee.

Also agreed was NOT to allow on the agenda the item of a Booking Fee again for 12 months.

So how has the Booking Fee found it's way on to the Licensing Regulatory Committee meeting agenda again????????

Something not quite adding up is it!

The suggestion in the mail that the taxi drivers support a Booking Fee is very very wrong the furness taxi trade committee asked 22 taxi drivers out of about 300 licence holders to support a Booking Fee for the app based taxi ordering service ubaro who want to charge anyone foolish enough to pay a Booking Fee just to order a taxi.

The Furniture taxi trade association now has no committee members and has been dissolved.

We at A1 taxis dont do Booking fees so who u gonna call

NOT UBARO who want to make a fast buck at the Barrow publics expense.

Shame on u ubaro boys.


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