Posted: Fri 7th Jun 2024

Denbighshire Councillors Reject Taxi Fare Increase Amid Concerns for Elderly

North Wales news and information

Denbighshire councillors threw out proposals to increase taxi fares at a licensing committee on Wednesday after fears were raised about the elderly.
At a meeting at Denbighshire’s Ruthin County Hall HQ, members debated proposals put forward which would have enabled hackney carriage taxis to increase their maximum fees.
Hackney carriage taxis are those that use a meter, taxi rank and can be hailed in the street.
Currently the maximum a taxi can charge for a two-mile journey in Denbighshire is £6.
But a formula applied to the fares meant officers proposed an increase.
The new proposals would have seen an increase in fares to £6.94 for a two-mile taxi trip.
If councillors would have backed the move, a public consultation would have followed.
Then, if no objections were submitted from the public, the new rate would have come into effect. But the committee feared the change could damage the taxi trade by dissuading customers from using taxis if fees increased.
Cllr Brian Jones said: “I don’t think there’s an appetite from the customer to swallow another increase and certainly (not) the elderly who rely on taxis to go shopping and things like that.
“They probably wouldn’t be best pleased about hearing an increase in this and anything to do with their daily lives.”
Licensing officer Ian Millington said if Denbighshire backed the proposals, the county would become the most expensive in North Wales.
“It is currently at £6. The proposal from the calculator (formula) was to go up to £6.94, increasing by about (nearly) a pound,” he said.
“That would take us in reality to (be) the dearest in North Wales. But I would point out no other authority use the same methodology as us, and we don’t know what methodologies they use.
“Overall, I think in Wales, we wouldn’t be the highest. In the overall GB league, I think we’d be midway.”
Councillors then learned a public consultation would cost around £1,500-£2,000.
Cllr Hugh Irving said: “I’m more in favour of staying with the status quo because if we go to consultation, which is going to cost a number of thousands of pounds, and it just so happened nobody made any representations, then the increase would be implemented, and then there might be a howl that it was not necessary or not wanted.
“I’d be inclined to move we stay with the status quo and review the situation again in the light of whatever representation comes forward over the next 12 months.”
Cllr Joan Butterfield seconded the proposal, and the committee agreed to keep fares as they are and review the situation in a year.

By Richard Evans – Local Democracy Reporter

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