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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 5:21 pm 
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Seems sensible enough in terms of danger to council staff, but personally I wouldn't bother with any kind of fare rise anywhere any time this year at the very least :?


Taxi fare decision to be made next week after resident complains

https://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news ... complains/

Plans to increase taxi fares in Reading are set for significant delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Licensing committee agreed in February to increase fares by an average of 3.75 per cent during daytime, subject to their being no objections from the public.

But councillors will now vote again on the plans next week, after a resident complained that black cab drivers do not deserve the rise.

The unnamed resident said drivers do not help the customers with their bags when loading or unloading and are “often unfriendly and surly”.

Licensing officers have recommended the plans be approved regardless of the resident’s concerns, which they say are “not relevant” but they have warned that the Covid-19 crisis will delay the roll-out of the increased fares.

This is because officers will have to replace programmable chips in the taxi metres of around 240 cars and this currently “would expose staff to unnecessary risks of engaging with a wide range of people and vehicles”.

The fare increase – which is an increase to the maximum black cab drivers can charge – will only affect rides during the day (between 6am and 10pm) as drivers said keeping the current the night-time fare would help them to compete with Uber.

The Reading Taxi Association proposed increasing the maximum fares drivers can charge, and these proposals were approved on February 7 by the licensing committee at Reading Borough Council.

It is the first increase to taxi fares in a few years, but Mr Rashid said drivers would rather have “smaller increases more often” instead of “one big increase every five years”.

Drivers have to pay fees to the council for their licenses to drive taxis, and a council policy introduced last October means all taxis must be electric or ultra-low emission vehicles by 2028.

Asif Rashid, chairman of the association, explained to the licensing committee in February why taxi drivers need to increase fares.

Speaking prior to the lockdown, he said: “We have had nothing for two and half years. We have had our licensing fees increased since then, with another increase coming in April.

“The fare won’t cover everything. We’re also expected to replace our vehicles because of the new emissions policy. It all adds up.

“The longer we leave it, the bigger the increase we will have to ask for.”

Mr Rashid, who works at night, also explained to councillors why the proposals were only for during the day. He said: “Of course, I would love to increase my takings at night.

“But work is quiet and has been for some time, and we don’t want to lose what we have already got.”


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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 5:21 pm 
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Quote:
The unnamed resident said drivers do not help the customers with their bags when loading or unloading and are “often unfriendly and surly”.

Legitmate enough point, but did they really think it had any relevance to a fare rise consultation? :-s

Quote:
Licensing officers have recommended the plans be approved regardless of the resident’s concerns, which they say are “not relevant” but they have warned that the Covid-19 crisis will delay the roll-out of the increased fares.

This is because officers will have to replace programmable chips in the taxi metres of around 240 cars and this currently “would expose staff to unnecessary risks of engaging with a wide range of people and vehicles”.

Not sure how it works everywhere, but I thought that was normally the responsibility of the meter suppliers' agents, although the LOs would obviously be exposed to Covid-19 while testing the motors (and they presumably mean reprogramming the chips rather than replacing them).


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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 6:04 pm 
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Quote:
Quote:
The unnamed resident said drivers do not help the customers with their bags when loading or unloading and are “often unfriendly and surly”.

Legitmate enough point, but did they really think it had any relevance to a fare rise consultation? :-s

What a sensible set of licensing officers would do would be to contact the complainant and explain that to them, and request they withdraw their objection.

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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 6:06 pm 
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Not sure how it works everywhere, but I thought that was normally the responsibility of the meter suppliers' agents, although the LOs would obviously be exposed to Covid-19 while testing the motors (and they presumably mean reprogramming the chips rather than replacing them).

Maybe they check every meter, rather than rely on the meter agents to get it right.

Does seem an incredibly bad use of resources to check every cab.

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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 7:47 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
Not sure how it works everywhere, but I thought that was normally the responsibility of the meter suppliers' agents, although the LOs would obviously be exposed to Covid-19 while testing the motors (and they presumably mean reprogramming the chips rather than replacing them).

Maybe they check every meter, rather than rely on the meter agents to get it right.

Does seem an incredibly bad use of resources to check every cab.

Our council still road tests every car :-o

To be fair, though, some of our meters [-( are still individually programmed, so if the agent just keys in one digit incorrectly that could make a huge difference to what's shown on the meter.

And the more modern ones where the software is just updated (which I assume is what happens) aren't foolproof either if they're programmed incorrectly - remember the hoohah in Edinburgh when Christmas came along and it was discovered that the meters weren't showing the premium fares :shock:

Of course, if they're calendar-controlled meters I'm not sure how councils can test the Christmas fares anyway, but I'm not fully up to speed with all the ins and outs.

(Could say a bit more about our own meter testing, but don't want to get into trouble :-# )


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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 9:34 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
Not sure how it works everywhere, but I thought that was normally the responsibility of the meter suppliers' agents, although the LOs would obviously be exposed to Covid-19 while testing the motors (and they presumably mean reprogramming the chips rather than replacing them).

Maybe they check every meter, rather than rely on the meter agents to get it right.

Does seem an incredibly bad use of resources to check every cab.



Meter agents calibrate our meters and give you a certificate of calibration to enable Council to record that it has the correct tariffs on it.If the incorrect tariffs are on meter they will suspend the license until the correct calibration is displayed.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 5:10 pm 
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No great surprises here, but some comments from councillors about the grumpy drivers which the resident had raised in objection to the fare rise.

No great surprises about that either though. I don't doubt there are grumpy drivers 8-[ but this kind of pointless moralising by councillors won't change a thing. Nor the predictable use of the a-word so often used by councillors and officials in relation to driver conduct.

Anyone who can't guess what the a-word is will find it in the article, about half way down :roll:


Taxi fare rise approved but will be delayed by coronavirus

https://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news ... ronavirus/

An increase to taxi fares for hackney carriage drivers in Reading has been approved.

But the rise will be significantly delayed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Policy Committee approved the plans on Monday evening.

The council had already agreed the daytime fare rise in February but the decision was called in for a second vote after a resident complained that drivers did not deserve it as they are “often unfriendly and surly” and do not help customers with bags.

Councillor Tony Page lead member for Transport, said the increase is “modest” but the objection should be “taken seriously”.

He added: “We do have a hardcore of fairly miserable hackney carriage drivers.

“The first face of Reading is often hackney carriage drivers and if they are miserable, grumpy and unhelpful this can set the wrong tone and image for the town.

“Our taxi drivers are ambassadors for the town. I think there is a need for the trade to up their game and that as is something I will be repeating to those in the trade when we meet again.”

Fares will rise by an average of 3.75per cent during the daytime, once coronavirus social distancing measures allow changes to the meters to be made.

Licensing officers had called the objection to the rise “not relevant” but councillors said the resident’s concerns were important.

Councillor Jeanette Skeats, leader of the Conservative opposition, said the council takes complaints seriously and called on all taxi drivers to “take their job very seriously and help people with their luggage, if necessary”.

Labour councillor Karen Rowland said “there are a lot of good people in the trade” in Reading. and she believes drivers “will have heard concerns loud and clear”.

The fare increase – which is an increase to the maximum black cab drivers can charge – will only affect rides during the day (between 6am and 10pm) as drivers said keeping the current the night-time fare would help them to compete with Uber.

It is the first increase to taxi fares in a few years, but Mr Rashid said drivers would rather have “smaller increases more often” instead of “one big increase every five years”.

Implementation will be delayed because officers will have to replace programmable chips in the taxi metres of around 240 cars and this currently “would expose staff to unnecessary risks of engaging with a wide range of people and vehicles”.

Drivers have to pay fees to the council for their licenses to drive taxis, and a council policy introduced last October means all taxis must be electric or ultra-low emission vehicles by 2028.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 6:46 pm 
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He added: “We do have a hardcore of fairly miserable hackney carriage drivers.

But is that a reason to refuse a fare rise?

If not then the councillor should have kept his gob shut. :-#

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