Will it be carry on cabbie with fare increase?
The boss of a Leighton cab company is campaigning for a rise in Hackney Carriage fares, which, if approved, will be implemented across Central Bedfordshire.
The fares, which last increased in January 2009, are up for debate again after a proposal was received from Bryan Burgin, owner of Burgins Tax in Station Approach.
His letter to Central Beds Council’s licensing committee, which will debate the issue today, has been supported by a list of 82 licensed owners or drivers.
Under Mr Burgin’s proposal the cost of a journey will increase from £3 for 1,500 yards to £3.20 for 1300 yards. The current price of 10p for every subsequent 98 yards would be retained.
Mr Burgin said: “Due to ever increasing cost of fuel, insurance and maintenance since the merger of South Beds and Mid Beds, we are requesting a fare increase.”
Mr Burgin also pointed out that bus lanes in Leighton and Dunstable were not accessible to taxis.
Asking for this to change, he added: “We feel it would be beneficial to the customer who would be charged less and to taxi operators whose fuel costs would be kept down. With everyone trying to be green nowadays it would help environmentally.”
He added that he would also like to see progress on a proposed taxi rank extension in Leighton Buzzard High Street.
In response to a public notice detailing Mr Burgin’s request, one driver said: “The increase of fares should happen, this is because inflation has gone up, thus causing fuel prices to rise. Insurance companies are charging more money, living costs have risen.
“I know the customers won’t be happy but we haven’t increased the fare price in a good number of years.”
But a member of the public responded, stating: “Before the council looks to increase the fares, I would suggest that the council employs its resources in ensuring that the current service provided is up to scratch.
“Being reliant on taxis, I have noticed a number of serious issues with the local taxi firms recently.
“We take it as read that they will turn up when it suits them, and we live with this. We also accept that the state of a number of taxis are less than perfect.
“What I do take exception to is the amount of times I am overcharged for my journey. I have lived in my village for 17 years and I know what the fare is, but when you are, continually, being asked to over-pay, it starts to grate.”
The proposal will lift a one-mile journey in Central Beds from £3.30 to £3.70. Luton Airport currently charges £5.30 for the same length journey, though Bedford charges £3.20.
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