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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:19 pm 
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Don't know what to think of this, to be honest, but suspect the public will think it makes the trade look pretty stupid.


Taxi firm owner's anger after Harrogate council says no to fare increase

https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/loc ... r-18022399

Kevin O’Boyle, owner of Central Taxis, said a driver earned just £4.10 in one six hour shift

Taxi drivers in Harrogate have been denied a fare increase after a lead councillor said it would be asking customers to pay over the odds during the coronavirus crisis.

Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing and safer communities, Coun Mike Chambers, signed off the decision not to give cabbies a boost on their meters from the start of this month.

However taxi drivers – who had been pushing for a 2.94 per cent hike – said a fare increase is just what they needed to help them get through the virus pandemic.

Kevin O’Boyle, owner of Central Taxis, and the longest holder of a taxi license in the district, said in a message to the council: “I am a little disappointed to say the least regarding your decision to not give us a fare increase.

“Due to the present climate, this is exactly what we needed. A little help is better than no help at all.

“During the past weekend I know of one driver who worked on Saturday night and earned £4.10 for six hour shift. The average was £25 for a 12-hour shift.

“This will only get worse.”

The setting of fares is a statutory duty placed upon the council whose responsibility it is to strike a balance between setting a fare that is acceptable to both customers and cabbies.

The cabinet member for housing and safer communities, Cllr Chambers, has the final say on decision making.

Summarising the decision not to increase fares, a council spokesman said: “With the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic impacting on all areas of society and business we have decided not to increase taxi fares.

“The position will be reconsidered in six-months’ time.”

In a decision notice, Cllr Chambers also said the move not to increase fares had been reached whilst taking into account the current reduction in fuel price – which in some areas have seen their biggest weekly fall since current records began.

The average cost of a litre of petrol was £1.12 on Monday, compared with £1.20 seven days earlier.

Also, Cllr Chambers concluded a fair increase would have an unfair impact on wheelchair users who are currently facing a shortage of wheelchair accessible vehicles in the district.

But despite discussions being held between councillors and officers, as well as plans to consult both disabled people and taxi drivers on how this issue can be resolved, Coun Chambers said in a decision notice the problem “does not appear to be being addressed in any meaningful way.”

Mr O’Boyle said cabbies have seen a big decline in business as the Harrogate population follows government advice to stay at home unless journeys are essential, but added his taxi firm was managing to survive on bookings to supermarkets and hospitals.

He said: “Everybody thinks taxi drivers are making a fortune. If you took the time to visit the taxi ranks any day of the week you would observe taxis queuing for 2.5 hours before getting a job for maybe £4.00; then coming back and doing this all over again.

“Unless you take the time to establish the facts you would never know that a taxi drivers works on average 80 hours per week.”

He added: “I don’t see you rushing to give us an increase when fuel prices rise.

“These may seem like strong words, but it is my wage and every other driver’s wage that you are denying. I do not feel you are being deliberately unfair, but that you are unaware of the facts, and are not making any attempt to establish the facts by communicating with the trade.

“The taxi trade is an important part of the town’s infrastructure, and should be treated as such.”

The now-rejected fare rates increase would have come into force this month, but will now be reviewed by the council in September.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:21 pm 
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Kevin O’Boyle, owner of Central Taxis wrote:
“Due to the present climate, this is exactly what we needed. A little help is better than no help at all.

“During the past weekend I know of one driver who worked on Saturday night and earned £4.10 for six hour shift. The average was £25 for a 12-hour shift."

So the first driver would have earned an extra 2p per hour with the fare rise, while an extra 75p would have been earned over the 12-hour shift :-s

Kevin O’Boyle, owner of Central Taxis wrote:
“Everybody thinks taxi drivers are making a fortune. If you took the time to visit the taxi ranks any day of the week you would observe taxis queuing for 2.5 hours before getting a job for maybe £4.00; then coming back and doing this all over again."

Don't doubt that that happens. Done a lot worse than that more times than I care to recall.

But to suggest that's representative of the norm simply isn't credible. That would work out at about £1 per hour profit. No one would work for that on a long-term basis.

Kevin O’Boyle, owner of Central Taxis wrote:
“Unless you take the time to establish the facts you would never know that a taxi drivers works on average 80 hours per week.”

Again, I simply don't believe that the *average* driver *anywhere* works 80 hours per week.

Kevin O’Boyle, owner of Central Taxis wrote:
"I do not feel you are being deliberately unfair, but that you are unaware of the facts, and are not making any attempt to establish the facts by communicating with the trade."

But if you want to accuse councillors and officials of being unware of the facts (which I've no problem with) then you have to make your own version of the facts credible.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:09 pm 
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I think it’s utter madness that anyone in the trade should even be thinking of a fare rise. I know it’s probably been applied for weeks if not months ago, but it should have been withdrawn and if not the trade should have accepted the decision gracefully. It will be looked at again in six months, hopefully by then we should be getting back to some sort of normality.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:56 pm 
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Why didn't the f***wits just defer the matter until the worst of this mess is over? ](*,)

The trade is on it's arse throughout the country, and these idiots don't make things any better.

If they deferred they would have got some bonus points for when the decision could finally have been made.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:20 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Why didn't the f***wits just defer the matter until the worst of this mess is over? ](*,)

The trade is on it's arse throughout the country, and these idiots don't make things any better.

If they deferred they would have got some bonus points for when the decision could finally have been made.


=D>

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:25 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Why didn't the f***wits just defer the matter until the worst of this mess is over? ](*,)

The trade is on it's arse throughout the country, and these idiots don't make things any better.

If they deferred they would have got some bonus points for when the decision could finally have been made.

There are time limits that have to be met so it is not as simple as just deferring. Our council missed the deadline for the proposed increase here last year and the whole process had to be scrapped. As yet no one can be bothered to try again.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:00 pm 
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x-ray wrote:
I think it’s utter madness that anyone in the trade should even be thinking of a fare rise. I know it’s probably been applied for weeks if not months ago, but it should have been withdrawn and if not the trade should have accepted the decision gracefully. It will be looked at again in six months, hopefully by then we should be getting back to some sort of normality.


Living in cloud cuckoo land if you think normality will return after 6 months,it will take several years or more to return to some resemblance of what we call normality,this pandemic has changed and affected every ones way of life for years to come if not for ever.Finances will never be the same,all the help has to be paid for by those who pay their taxes.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:13 pm 
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Quote:
There are time limits that have to be met so it is not as simple as just deferring.

You make a good point, but the fault for this tale of woe is still 100% down to the f***wit local trade reps.

Anyone with half a brain cell would have known that no councillor, or council committee, would approve any increase.

So the local trade had two options;

1) Carry on with this suicide application, and lose big time, or

2) Do the sensible thing and realise their quest for an increase has no chance of success, and on that basis inform the council that they wish to withdraw the application until a future date when the world is in a better place.

By doing 1) they have made themselves a laughing stock, whereas if they did 2) they could hold their heads up high and be more likely to get a rise sometime in the future.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:17 pm 
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x-ray wrote:
I think it’s utter madness that anyone in the trade should even be thinking of a fare rise. I know it’s probably been applied for weeks if not months ago, but it should have been withdrawn and if not the trade should have accepted the decision gracefully. It will be looked at again in six months, hopefully by then we should be getting back to some sort of normality.

=D>

heathcote wrote:
Living in cloud cuckoo land if you think normality will return after 6 months,it will take several years or more to return to some resemblance of what we call normality, this pandemic has changed and affected every ones way of life for years to come if not for ever. Finances will never be the same, all the help has to be paid for by those who pay their taxes.

=D>

Sussex wrote:
By doing 1) they have made themselves a laughing stock, whereas if they did 2) they could hold their heads up high and be more likely to get a rise sometime in the future.

Alternatively, they could have just done nothing, accepted the council's decision and said nothing. Or even issued a statement agreeing with a fare freeze in the circumstances.

And, of course, this is just the view of one HC plateholder, who's also an office proprietor. The trade more generally might well be pretty annoyed at his reaction, and the fact he's being portrayed in the press as somehow representing the trade.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:36 pm 
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heathcote wrote:
x-ray wrote:
I think it’s utter madness that anyone in the trade should even be thinking of a fare rise. I know it’s probably been applied for weeks if not months ago, but it should have been withdrawn and if not the trade should have accepted the decision gracefully. It will be looked at again in six months, hopefully by then we should be getting back to some sort of normality.


Living in cloud cuckoo land if you think normality will return after 6 months,it will take several years or more to return to some resemblance of what we call normality,this pandemic has changed and affected every ones way of life for years to come if not for ever.Finances will never be the same,all the help has to be paid for by those who pay their taxes.


By ‘some sort of normality’ I meant at least back at work and earning something. I know it will be years (if ever) before we can even think about things being ‘normal’. The chancellor has already hinted at the self-employed paying a lot more in National Insurance contributions in the future. We’ll be paying for this for years to come and then some.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:16 pm 
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Taxi fares in Harrogate set to rise for first time in two years with 3% price hike from December

Harrogate Borough Council and the district's drivers have agreed on a proposed 3% price hike which is likely to come into force on December 1 - followed by a further rise over Christmas and New Year.

It is the first fare increase for two years and comes after drivers were denied a boost to their meters at the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

Cabbies have warned the trade has "suffered immensely" during the last seven months and have now given a cautious welcome to the planned price hike with hopes that journeys will pick back up over the festive season.

However, Kevin O’Boyle, owner of Central Taxis and the longest holder of a taxi license in the district, said the uncertainty around lockdown restrictions means the future for drivers is still looking "very, very grim."

"The situation for some drivers is so bad that unless they are claiming benefits, they can not earn enough to survive," he said. "There are drivers who have never come back since the first lockdown March - we have just not seen them again.

"In terms of the fare increase, yes we would like more but in the present climate it is the best we can expect. If people think we are going to make a fortune off it - they need to think again."

Under the proposed increases, starting charges will increase by 10p to £3.40 during the day and from £4.95 to £5.10 at night. Rates will also increase for Christmas and New Year from £6.60 to £6.80.

The 3% rise will be added to the running mile and waiting time - with passengers paying around £2 per mile.

According to a league table by trade magazine Private Hire Monthly, the proposed changes would put Harrogate in joint ninth place with Bournemouth, Brighton, Cheltenham and Mid Sussex as the most expensive places in the UK to get picked up.

The setting of fares is a statutory duty placed upon Harrogate Borough Council which uses a formula to calculate how prices should be set, using vehicles costs, parts and labour, fuel and cost of living to give a final figure.

A council spokesman said: “We are required to strike a balance between setting a fare that is acceptable to the customer and the taxi driver. Therefore, a rise in the maximum hackney carriage fares of 10p on the flag fall and 3 per cent on the running mile has been proposed.

“These fares are the maximum a driver may charge and they may charge less if they wish.”

The council is running a consultation on the proposed changes and comments must be made by letter or e-mail by November 19.

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