A decision on new taxi fares in Harrogate is set to be taken, with a number of options which could push the town’s prices towards some of the highest in the country.
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Earlier this year, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities, Coun Mike Chambers MBE, sent a request to increase Hackney Carriage rates in the district to the council’s licensing committee and to the taxi drivers and operators for consultation.
Coun Chambers had been asked to move forward a rise that would have been equivalent to a 4.78 per cent increase.
However, he proposed his own rise of 2.5 per cent across the board. He also recommended that the starting charge, or flag fall, be raised to £3.30 from £3.20.
Now, the authority’s Licensing Committee will be asked on Wednesday September 5 to decide what to do, with both options on the table.
In a report produced ahead of next week’s meeting, council officer Gareth Bentley said that local drivers had asked for increases to be put onto shorter journeys.
He wrote: “The hackney carriage trade have this time requested a revision in the fare structure rather than an across the board rise.
“The request is to remove the initial 440 yard distance meaning that the first 20p charge is added to the initial flag fall of £3.20 at 185.93 yards and then every 185.93 yards thereafter. The effect of this request would be to load the tariff increases onto the beginning of the journey meaning that shorter journeys see a higher increase.”
For example, a one-mile journey would have seen an 8.7 per cent increase on its 2017 price, while a 10-mile journey would only have gone up by 1.8 per cent. The report states that the town’s Taxi Liaison Group has been consulted and all bar four of the 32 responses had been in favour of a rise in some form.
If the original recommended 4.78 per cent increase is implemented it would mean Harrogate would have the 22nd highest cost for a two-mile journey out of 370 local authorities. It would make the town the most expensive place for fares in Yorkshire.