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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:15 pm 
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New thread on this, because last one side-tracked by someone's literal interpretation of an obviously-exaggerated point I made *months* ago about sheep [-(


Councillors in Inverness put brakes on bid to hike taxi fares in the Highlands

https://www.inverness-courier.co.uk/new ... es-187408/

Image
Taxi operators gathered public support against a move to increase the prices of fares. (Image: Gary Anthony/Inverness Courier)

One of Inverness’s taxi companies was pitted against all the others over a proposed increase in taxi fares at a heated debate earlier today.

And members of Highland Council’s licensing committee have recommended prices stay as they are ahead of a public consultation.

The committee heard arguments from both sides before choosing the status quo, with the only suggested change to charges being a rise from £100 for soiling a taxi to £120.

Prior to the meeting, representatives of various organisations including City Taxis, Inverness Taxis and Capital Taxis with a petition from drivers calling on the council not to increase charges.

Standing against them was Sneckie Taxis manager Raymond Munro who called for an increase in the taxi fares.

Les Steven from Inverness Taxis said there was broad agreement across the region and across firms that a hike in prices would be bad for business.

City Taxis’ Nigel Nicholson said: “There is one company that thinks an increase of 20-plus per cent should be considered by the council. That is ridiculous. If any retailer put up prices like that people would say we are not going to use them again.”

Mr Munro argued that by comparison Highland taxis were under-charging and that a rise in fares would help to maintain quality of service and drivers' pay.

"The amounts we seek to increase are not unreasonable at all when we look at comparisons elsewhere in the trade," he said.

“Number one in Scotland is East Lothian with £7 for a two-mile fare, with Fife at £6.70, and Glasgow, Moray and even the Shetland Isles are all at £6.60 for a two-mile fare.

“Highland at this time is 15th in Scotland at £5.80 and our running costs are the same as elsewhere so we want the cost for a two-mile fare to be £6.60. All these other areas got rises in 2019 except Moray which got one in 2018.

“If it went to £2.20 per mile – which is what we are asking for – we would still be 27 per cent cheaper than Moray for a running mile or 40 per cent cheaper than Moray if we don’t get any increase.

“It would be outrageous in any other walk of life, if someone suggested that council employees are paid 27-40 per cent less for the same job here as their Moray counterparts.”

Inverness Taxi Alliance chairman Andrew MacDonald said: “Any business can only survive what the market will bare and the market for taxis has fallen away dramatically because the slice of the cake available to the independent operator has narrowed so much.

“The council's first responsibility is to the public, not the trade.”

The public consultation will start either this month or in January.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:35 pm 
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Councils often increase license fees by 20% or more.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:08 am 
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Quote:
The committee heard arguments from both sides before choosing the status quo, with the only suggested change to charges being a rise from £100 for soiling a taxi to £120.

Thank f*** for the Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:10 am 
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Quote:
“The council's first responsibility is to the public, not the trade.”

Just love that when a rep of the Taxi Trade says things like that. :sad:

It may or may not be true, but we don't need one of our own to say it. :sad:

Defo will come back and bite his arse in years to come. :sad:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:51 am 
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It gets worse :shock:

A different take on this from another newspaper. Don't think some on here will be too happy with some of this :wink:

Councillors recommend no increase in Highland taxi tariffs

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/ne ... i-tariffs/

In an early Christmas present for consumers, Highland taxi fares will be pegged at the current tariffs, at least over the festive period.

Councillors at the Highland licensing committee agreed that for this statutory fare review, they would recommend that the status quo should remain across all five tariffs.

Their recommendation will now go forward for public consultation and be finalised by the licensing committee in February.

The only change proposed to the status quo is that the ‘soiling charge’ should be raised from £100 to £120, with drivers able to charge up to that price according to the damage caused.

Around 16 taxi drivers from across the trade attended yesterday’s meeting, with most in favour of pegging the tariffs.

Resolutely against the status quo, and pitching for a 20% increase was Sneckie Taxis, led by director Raymond Munro.

Unlike other taxi firms, Mr Munro employs his 40 drivers on contracts.

Mr Munro told the meeting the amount his firm is seeking is not unreasonable compared to other regions.

He drew comparisons with Moray, East Lothian, Fife, Glasgow and Aberdeen citing Highland as having the lowest rates.

He said: “In Moray they charge £30 for a ten mile fare, we currently get £20.20.

“We want to go up to £24.20.

“It’s not greed, it’s asking to be paid the going rate and the same prices as elsewhere.”

Inverness Taxi Alliance chairman Andrew MacDonald said the real problem was the ever-increasing number of licences being handed out by the council.

He said: “The public interest will not be served by an increase in fares at this time.

“The trade is being brought to its knees by the number of cars that are running around and the proliferation of private hire companies, but the willingness to discuss the number of licenses is not there.”

Mr MacDonald said his company, Black Mercedes, and another firm, Caley Taxis, did not trust that the tariffs would remain pegged after the public consultation, so had already put a game plan into action.

They have invited their own customers and people who use taxis as a lifeline to phone in and receive a free journey.

The idea is that during the journey, customers would discuss their best route and times and agree a fare with the operators guaranteed until the next tariff review in roughly 18 month’s time.

Mr MacDonald said: “It’s to establish a fair scale. We made the offer before the review and it stands irrespective.”


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:02 am 
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Quote:
The only change proposed to the status quo is that the ‘soiling charge’ should be raised from £100 to £120, with drivers able to charge up to that price according to the damage caused.

Certainly a bit more accurate than the earlier report, which simply said that that was the soiling charge. But this is more consistent with the actual wording on the tariff card:

Highland Council tariff card wrote:
Soiling Charge – maximum of £100.00 payable by an offending passenger, where a vehicle requires to be removed from service for cleaning in order for it to be restored to a usable state and condition.


Quote:
Mr MacDonald said his company, Black Mercedes, and another firm, Caley Taxis, did not trust that the tariffs would remain pegged after the public consultation, so had already put a game plan into action.

They have invited their own customers and people who use taxis as a lifeline to phone in and receive a free journey.

The idea is that during the journey, customers would discuss their best route and times and agree a fare with the operators guaranteed until the next tariff review in roughly 18 month’s time.

Mr MacDonald said: “It’s to establish a fair scale. We made the offer before the review and it stands irrespective.”

Where to start with this. Actually, don't think it's worth bothering [-(

Quote:
Resolutely against the status quo, and pitching for a 20% increase was Sneckie Taxis, led by director Raymond Munro.

Unlike other taxi firms, Mr Munro employs his 40 drivers on contracts.

Forgot that Sneckie actually employed drivers under PAYE. Or at least it sounds like that, but what's the betting the true picture is a bit different.

On the other hand, on the 'Join our team' part of their website, it says:

Sneckie Taxis wrote:
DRIVERS LICENSE

Goes without saying that you will need this, however, don't forget you will need to have your Inverness Private Hire License too


So they're actually a private hire operation? :shock: [-(

To be fair, though, probable that they do at least run a few taxis, and they may have meters fitted in their PHVs, which then becomes the regulated fare.

On the other hand, according to the prices they quote for 20+ miles fares, they look like they're charging maybe 10% more than clock anyway.

I give up ](*,)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:29 am 
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Quote:
They have invited their own customers and people who use taxis as a lifeline to phone in and receive a free journey.

The idea is that during the journey, customers would discuss their best route and times and agree a fare with the operators guaranteed until the next tariff review in roughly 18 month’s time.

Mr MacDonald said: “It’s to establish a fair scale. We made the offer before the review and it stands irrespective.”

Is it a licensing requirement up there to have absolutely no business sense?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:51 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Is it a licensing requirement up there to have absolutely no business sense?

Well it's certainly a licensing *department* and licensing *councillor* requirement to have absolutely no business sense :badgrin: 8-[


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:00 am 
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StuartW wrote:
Sneckie Taxis wrote:
DRIVERS LICENSE

Goes without saying that you will need this, however, don't forget you will need to have your Inverness Private Hire License too


So they're actually a private hire operation? :shock: [-(

To be fair, though, probable that they do at least run a few taxis, and they may have meters fitted in their PHVs, which then becomes the regulated fare.

On the other hand, according to the prices they quote for 20+ miles fares, they look like they're charging maybe 10% more than clock anyway.


Nah they'll want the meter rate to increase so they can increase their base rates while still being cheaper than a HC.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:46 am 
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Karga wrote:
Nah they'll want the meter rate to increase so they can increase their base rates while still being cheaper than a HC.

Sounds about right.

A bit like the HC offices here who badger the council for rises year after year, yet are offering heavily discounted fares.


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