Taxi Fare Review (15/04/08)

The public is to be asked for its views on proposals by The Highland Council to revise the scale of maximum taxi fares in the Highlands. The recommended increases will be advertised widely in the Highlands and the public will have a month in which to respond.

The responses will be reported back to the Council’s Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee on 29 May, with a proposed implementation date of June of this year.

In reviewing the fares, the Committee has taken into account increases in the costs of operating taxis, such as rising diesel, petrol and insurance premiums and that Highland taxi fares are amongst the lowest in Scotland.

Recommended increases in Tariff 1 (7 am – 10 pm Monday – Saturday) range from 3.3% for a journey of one mile to 15.6% for a journey of 100 miles or more. Recommended increases in Tariff 2 (10 pm – 7 am on any day , all day on Sunday or when five passengers or more are being carried) range from 7.7% to 16.4% and at Tariff 3 (Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and 2nd January) range from 6% to 15.9%.

It is proposed that Tariff 2 and 3 will operate from 10 pm – 7 am, instead of midnight – 8 am and that the 2nd of January should move from Tariff 2 to Tariff 3. Waiting time is to increase to 10p per 20 seconds, instead of 10p per 30 seconds.

Councillor John Laing, Chairman of the TEC Services Committee, said the Council exercised a balancing function in setting taxi fares between the expectations of taxi operators to earn a living against the public expectation to be able to hire a taxi or reasonable quality at a reasonable price.

Operators, he said, were entitled to charge any fare, provided it did not exceed the maximum provided for in the tariff.

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