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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 6:33 am
Posts: 5989
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Other local councils such as Lancaster add a £4 booking fee for Hackney Carriage drivers.


Unsurprisingly, this is a *maximum* booking fee, and the charging of the fee is quite strictly controlled, on paper at least.

In particular, the HC must be hiked at least a mile before any booking fee can be charged:

Lancaster HC tariff card wrote:
A booking fee up to a maximum of £4.00 maybe charged where:

a) The Hackney carriage is booked in advance; and

b) (i) The Customer shall be told the cost of the booking fee at the time that the booking is taken and the amount recorded in the booking log; and

(ii) The customer shall be told that the booking fee is in addition to the fare for the journey; and

c) The hiring involves a separate journey of at least one mile, starting from the taxi rank or the operator’s premises, to the pick up point.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:05 am
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I've always thought that the best solution to this (given our 2 tier HC/PH system) is just to allow HCs to operate as PH vehicles when booked in advance, so you can agree a rate with the customer in advance.

When one of the PH lot get a booking from one local village to another local village they tell the punter that the job will clock from Chester because the driver has to drive out of town to get to them and then back again at the other end. They only apply this to jobs that don't either start or end in the local area.

It would be fairly easy for the council to implement too. You just make the HC plate a dual plate, in the same way that they do dual HC/PH driver licences. If you pick it up off the street it's a HC, if you phone up and get it dispatched it's a PH.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:33 pm 
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Karga wrote:
I've always thought that the best solution to this (given our 2 tier HC/PH system) is just to allow HCs to operate as PH vehicles when booked in advance, so you can agree a rate with the customer in advance.

When one of the PH lot get a booking from one local village to another local village they tell the punter that the job will clock from Chester because the driver has to drive out of town to get to them and then back again at the other end. They only apply this to jobs that don't either start or end in the local area.

Yes, I can't really recall the precise official justification for this (as opposed to the legal test), but if passengers are considered adequately protected when pre-booking PHVs (primarily because they can shop around, as opposed to the more captive market in the street hire scenario) then I don't see why this shouldn't apply to pre-booked HCs.

Karga wrote:
It would be fairly easy for the council to implement too. You just make the HC plate a dual plate, in the same way that they do dual HC/PH driver licences. If you pick it up off the street it's a HC, if you phone up and get it dispatched it's a PH

Or better still, change the legislation to accommodate this.

Don't really get involved in this kind of thing locally, but years ago I'm sure I recall a letter sent out by Fife Council saying effectively that pre-booked HC fares could be any level as long as it was agreed in advance. I think some local HCs were adding some sort of charge to the metered fare if they were hiked a considerable distance, but without any agreement beforehand, and there were some complaints.

Of course, that was under the Scottish legislation, and it's definitely a grey area. But I don't think there's ever been any litigation/case law under the relevant Act, and it's not something that's been discussed when the legislation has been reviewed, as far as I'm aware.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:31 pm 
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](*,)

So the booking fee was on the agenda, then it was off, then on again, now off again.

That is, until they consider it again in 12 months time. Every year, in fact. Can't really see much point in that - if it's considered inappropriate now, what's likely to change in 12 months?


Barrow's poverty cited for decision not to introduce taxi booking fees

https://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/18048425 ... king-fees/

TAXI drivers have welcomed the council’s decision not to introduce booking fees because of Barrow’s level of deprivation.

Earlier this month Barrow Borough Council’s licensing regulatory committee rejected a bid from Ubaro to allow them to introduce a booking fee of up to £3.50.

The firm said in its request: “Having looked at a number of other areas across the country, Barrow BC is the only authority that do not seem to have the requested booking fee currently in operation.”

Bosses at Barrow’s Uber-style booking app highlighted Lancaster as a case study where a minimum £4 booking fee is in operation.

Ubaro, which launched in October and is run by the same two businessmen behind Barrow Eats, said without a booking fee they would be running ‘at a loss’.

“We are reliant on this booking fee coming into operation as soon as possible so that our planned financial model can be followed. Initially this was not an issue, but as a result of the vast majority of standard firms moving in-line with rank-rate, we can now only match that rate rather than exceed it which is a key issue for us,” Ubaro said.

Members of Barrow Council’s licensing committee were recommended to approve a proposed booking fee of up to £3.50 for taxis at a meeting in November.

The booking fee would not have been compulsory.

Furness Taxi Trade Association, which represents the majority of taxi drivers and hackney cabbies, objected to the proposal.

Barrow has 282 licensed taxi drivers.

At the meeting earlier this month councillors rejected the application and cited the level of deprivation in Barrow as a reason.

However the committee did agree to review the decision once a year.

The committee said: “The committee was not convinced that many of the trade wanted to introduce a booking fee.

“The committee felt that introducing a booking fee and increasing the cost of using hackney carriages was contrary to the public interest of maintaining affordable fares.

“The committee felt that the introduction of a booking fee would have an adverse impact on some of the most vulnerable residents in the town who were reliant on taxis; the town has high levels of deprivation.”

Bob Mullen from the taxi association said: “A booking fee would have had a negative impact on the trade and fares had already increased recently.”


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:39 pm 
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Quote:
Bosses at Barrow’s Uber-style booking app highlighted Lancaster as a case study where a minimum £4 booking fee is in operation.


Bollocks. As I posted last time round, it's a *maximum* £4, and very strictly controlled, at least if tariff card anything to go by.

Quote:
Ubaro, which launched in October and is run by the same two businessmen behind Barrow Eats, said without a booking fee they would be running ‘at a loss’.

More nonsense. I daresay there are the odd trips where it would be uneconomic to do them because of dead mileage, but such a sweeping across the board statement is clearly rubbish.

Of course, that's not to say the case they made for the booking fee was slightly more sophisticated than the one reported here, but who knows? And unlikely that the councillors fully got to grips with the fine details of the economics either.

Quote:
“We are reliant on this booking fee coming into operation as soon as possible so that our planned financial model can be followed. Initially this was not an issue, but as a result of the vast majority of standard firms moving in-line with rank-rate, we can now only match that rate rather than exceed it which is a key issue for us,” Ubaro said.


Not quite sure what they're trying to say here. I thought that that all meant that the pre-booked fares were now *higher* because the offices had brought them into line with the HC tariff, but this makes it sound like the opposite :-s

Anyway, so much for the app-based providers offering more competitive fares :badgrin:


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