Members of the public are set to be consulted on proposed price increases for when they hail a taxi in Daventry.
The district council is responsible for setting the hackney carriage tariff within the area, and the tariff has not been increased since 2007. It is now being reconsidered due to increased running costs for cabbies.
Under the new proposals, the current standard rates would increase from £3.20 to £3.60 for up to one mile. The figures would increase by 40p for each of the next stages, at £5.60 for two miles, £11.60 for five miles, £21.60 for ten miles and £31.60 for 15 miles.
And double time rates would rise by 80p, up from £6.40 for up to a mile to £7.20, and from £62.40 to £63.20 for 15 miles.
Drivers are also calling for an increase in the maximum fine they can dish out for cleaning when their taxi is damaged or soiled, up from £50 to £70.
The fare tariff is only applicable to licensed hackney carriages that pick up from taxi ranks or on the streets when hailed by customers. It does not affect private hire vehicles, which are only permitted to carry out pre-booked journeys.
The hackney carriage tariff sets the maximum fare that may be charged, but drivers say that increased running costs mean the prices need to be upped more than a decade after the last change.
A number of drivers in the area were balloted, and out of the 33 that voted on the new proposals, only one did not support increasing the tariff.
A report by the council's executive director for the community, Maria Taylor, states: “To give context to the proposed changes, Private Hire and Taxi Monthly - a publication for the trade - publishes a league table comparing taxi fares from 363 licensing authorities in the United Kingdom.
“In the February 2019 issue of this publication Daventry District Council is 322nd in the table for the comparator two mile fare. Daventry District Council’s fare is currently £5.20, which is the same as in South Northamptonshire but lower than the national average, which currently stands at £5.87.”
This Thursday (April 11), Daventry District Council's strategy group will debate whether to agree to a 14-day consultation period with the public on the price changes.
If any objections are received these would be included in a report to the licensing committee for consideration ahead of any change to the tariff. If no objections are received the new rates would take effect from the closure of the consultation period.
Maria Taylor added: “When compared to the national averages, the proposal supported by the majority of taxi operators appears reasonable. Clearly, the public consultation exercise will highlight any objections to the proposal prior to a decision being made on setting of the tariff by the council.”