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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:11 pm 
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Basildon: Taxi drivers request rise in tariffs

https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/198453 ... e-tariffs/

Basildon taxi fares could rise in response to rising fuel costs, inflation and loss of business due to coronavirus restrictions.

The Basildon Borough Hackney Carriage Association has made a request to the Basildon Borough Council, asking it to approve an increase in tariffs, including the initial charge for a journey to £3.20.

But some drivers fear a rise in fees could deter people from using local taxis.

The borough council will meet next week to consider whether the increases are appropriate and if so approve them for March 8.

Writing to the council, secretary for the Basildon Borough Hackney Carriage Association Keith Beadle said fuel cost rises of 18p per litre on average have been “eating into earnings dramatically.”

He said: “The Taxi Trade last had a tariff increase in February 2019 after an application in 2018, since this period we have gone through a Pandemic, which has seen severe restrictions on earning and a loss of both vehicles and drivers.

“As we come out of the pandemic, we need to increase drivers earnings and encourage drivers back to the trade to cover unsocial hours.”

Mr Beadle also cited the inflation rate of 4.2 per cent (consumer price index) in the 12 months to October 2021 as an additional reason why a fare rise would be needed.

According to a council report, the increase being requested by the association is 40p, from £2.80 to £3.20 for the initial distance travelled.

Additionally, a raising the night time tariff from from £1.80 to £2 and bringing the start time forward from 10pm to 9pm is being proposed.

A new midnight tariff of £1 would “help late nightlife coverage and ensure public safety”, the report says.

Taxis would charge a double tariff on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve between 8pm to 6am, brought forward two hours from 10pm.

Finally, all tariffs would be starting amounts on the meter, rather than being added as extras.

In a consultation with drivers, 81 per cent of those who took part said they agreed with an increase to the tariffs.

However, some feared it could lead to a further decline in business.

One driver said in a response that while they agreed with increased charges for unsocial hours, a daytime fare increase would be “really disastrous to the trade”.

He said: “I have been a Hackney carriage driver and now proprietor for over 34 years and have seen a decline in our trade for the past 15/20 years since opening of lakeside and blue water shopping centres and all the retail outlets in around Basildon”.

Another driver said: “I think a fare increase at this moment in time .. with still so much uncertainty.. would do more damage than good .. people have had a rough time over the past two years.. that and the constant threat of Uber I fear with my 30 years of experience in the trade would decrease passenger numbers..!”

According to the report, there are currently 139 licensed hackney carriages in the borough, of which 60 are wheelchair accessible.

At the time of the last fare increase, there were 181 licensed hackney carriages in Basildon, of which 101 were wheelchair accessible.

The Licensing Committee will meet on January 20 to discuss the rise.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:12 pm 
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Basildon HCA secretary wrote:
“As we come out of the pandemic, we need to increase drivers earnings and encourage drivers back to the trade to cover unsocial hours.”

Slight contradiction there. But what's the betting he's not a night driver. Or perhaps not even a driver at all :-o

Quote:
In a consultation with drivers, 81 per cent of those who took part said they agreed with an increase to the tariffs.

So maybe 8.1 per cent actually agreed with an increase?

Or at least I suspect the vast majority didn't take part, and I doubt if 81% of them wanted a rise?

Problem with things like that is that those who support the status quo tend not to respond, while those who want change do respond, thus the numbers don't portray the true feeling.

Suspect a majority did want a rise, but just saying, like... [-(

Quote:
According to the report, there are currently 139 licensed hackney carriages in the borough, of which 60 are wheelchair accessible.

At the time of the last fare increase, there were 181 licensed hackney carriages in Basildon, of which 101 were wheelchair accessible.

So pre-Covid, 101 WAVs, 80 saloons.

Now, 60 WAVs, 79 saloons.

Thus they've only lost one saloon from 80, but lost 41 WAVs from 101 :shock:

But hardly a surprise that more WAVs disappeared than saloons, although it is surprising that there's such an imbalance :?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:08 pm 
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Location: 1066 Country
Quote:
But some drivers fear a rise in fees could deter people from using local taxis.

Yep that extra 40p or whatever is going to make people walk, or not go out at all. ](*,)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:58 pm 
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Posts: 9461
A lot of the discusson here is about the earnings of local residents and Covid grants, which seems a bit tangential.

And it's one council that sets the tariff in metres. I mean, seems a tad inconsistent with the fact that we still measure road distances in miles. Who would calculate a fare on the basis of kms rather than miles, for example?


Fears Basildon's poorest will be hit by taxi fare rise as council agree new charges

https://www.essexlive.news/news/essex-n ... xi-6527444

For a Hackney Carriage carrying four passengers, the initial charge for a journey will increase to £3.20

Taxi fares are set to rise in Basildon from March due to mounting pressure on drivers from the cost of living, despite concerns increases will disproportionately affect the poorest members of the borough.

The increases, including to the initial charge for a journey to £3.20 for a four-passenger vehicle, were agreed by Basildon Borough Council at a licensing committee meeting last night.

While voting to agree the rise, committee members admitted the need for a difficult “balancing act”.

Members said the council should balance the needs of the borough’s drivers, who are struggling with the highest inflation rates for decades and rising costs of fuel and vehicle repair, and those of consumers, who are also feeling the effects of the cost of living crisis.

The taxi trade has also been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with the night time economy closed for large periods over the last two years and many people continuing to work from home even after the lifting of restrictions.

Councillor Kevin Wingfield (Con, Laindon Park) claimed the lowest fifth of earners make more taxi journeys than any other, according to the Department for Transport’s taxi and private hire vehicle statistics fact sheet.

He told the meeting: “My concerns here are that these proposed increases could end up disproportionately affecting those on the lowest incomes, because those are the most reliant on the taxi trade for non-leisure purposes.

“But I’m also very aware that it’s not the cab trade’s job to solve income inequality and rising costs of living and so on for the entire borough and obviously you’ve got overheads of your own and bills to pay.”

Cllr Wingfield also disputed claims by the Basildon Borough Hackney Carriage Association in its request for the fare increases, included in a council report, that the borough's residents are more affluent than previously thought, with an average wage of £36,500.

He continued to say there is much wage disparity across the borough’s towns and that some people “barely break” £20,000 a year.

In response to a question from Labour group leader Jack Ferguson (Pitsea North West) about what further support could be provided by the council, an officer at the meeting said taxi drivers had been eligible to apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant.

If they applied in the first window, up to £5,500 was available as well as a £500 Christmas bonus, she continued.

Taxi drivers were also eligible to claim up to £1,500 from the council for screens, contactless card machines and hand sanitiser for their vehicles.

The additional restrictions grant has recently reopened in response to the effect of the Omicron variant on local business.

She said: “We have continued to support the trade in regards to funding that’s been coming from the government and opening that up to the trade.”

In addition to the increase in initial charge from £2.80 to £3.20, customers will be charged 20p per 203 metres until the taximeter reaches £7.20, and after that an additional 20p per 165 metres.

Additionally, the night time tariff will be raised from £1.80 to £2 and the start time will be brought forward from 10pm to 9pm.

A new midnight tariff of £1 will “help late nightlife coverage and ensure public safety”, according to the report.

Taxis will charge a double tariff on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve between 8pm to 6am, brought forward two hours from 10pm.

Finally, all tariffs will be starting amounts on the meter, rather than being added as extras.

There will now be a public notice for the fare review for 14 days, and if no objections are received then the new charges will come into effect on March 8.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:58 pm 
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Quote:
If they applied in the first window, up to £5,500 was available as well as a £500 Christmas bonus, she continued.

Taxi drivers were also eligible to claim up to £1,500 from the council for screens, contactless card machines and hand sanitiser for their vehicles.

But I wonder how many drivers got the full £7,500, or anything like it?

Suspect the most relevant words here are 'up to'.


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