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Caithness News Bulletins June 2004

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The Highland Council is to ask the public for their views on plans to increase taxi fares later in the year.

The public have until Monday 19 July to make representations, which will be considered by the Transport, Environmental and Community Services Committee on Thursday 19 August.

The proposed date for implementation of the increased fares is Monday 6 September.

In revising the scale of maximum taxi fares, the Council is recommending increases across the board be set at approximately 5%.

It is also recommending that the booking fee be increased from 40p to 50p, that the waiting time be increased from 10p every 40 seconds to 10p every 30 seconds and that the supplementary booking charge to compensate for the cost of the outward journey for hire which commence three miles or more away from the taxi or the taxi base be increased from £6 to £6.50.

The proposed fares are as follows: -
Tariff 1 (the normal rate which applies to taxi and private hire cars fitted with a taximeter): - 1 mile, £2.50 (existing charge £2.40); 2 miles, £3.60 (£3.40); 3 miles, £4.70 (£4.50).

Tariff 2 (the higher rate that applies on Boxing Day and 2 January as well as between midnight and 8 am on any day, all day on Sunday and when five or more passengers are being carried at any time of any day or night in a people carrier or by a converted minibus):- 1 mile, £3.50 (£3.30); 2 miles, £5.10 (£4.80); 3 miles, £6.70 (£6.30).

Tariff 3 (the special rate applies on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and when five or more passengers are being carried between midnight and 8 am and all day on Sunday in a people carrier or by a minibus):- 1 mile, £4.60 (£4.30); 2 miles, £6.70 (£6.30); 3 miles, £8.70 (£8.20).

Councillor David Munro, the Council’s spokesman on taxi matters, said the Council had agreed to review taxi fares every 18 months.  

In agreeing the latest increase, the Council had to balance the interests of the taxi drivers with those of taxi users.

He said: “The taxi trade provides a valuable service in the Highlands and we are keen to be fair to them by recommending an increase of 5% in fares. At the same time, we insist on the highest standards from taxi operators to ensure the interests of the travelling public are safeguarded.”

There are 980 taxi drivers operating in the Highlands from 565 taxi licences. There are also 140 drivers operating from 111 Private Hire Cars.