People are to be asked about the first licensed taxi fare increase in Folkestone & Hythe for 10 years.

The maximum fare that hackney drivers can charge while they are working in the district is set by the council. Following 34 representations from local drivers, Planning & Licensing committee members this week agreed to increase the baseline hackney tariff by 10% (the first rise since 2012).

This will go out for a four-week public consultation and if no objections are received, the new fares will come into force.

The changes to fares are:

  • Increase the meter starting fare from £3.00 to £3.30.
  • Increase the price per drop from £0.20 to £0.22.
  • Change the extra charge on Sunday and bank holidays from £1 to be 1.5 x Rate 1 on bank holidays only which is more in-line with other districts.
  • Change waiting time from £0.20 every 36 seconds to £0.22 every 36 seconds.

Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Regulatory Services, Waste and Building Control Cllr Stuart Peall said: “The recent cost of living and fuel price increases are the main reasons for the fare increase request by the taxi trade.

“The cost of petrol has increased by about 38% since 2012 from £1.34 to £1.85 per litre and for diesel, it has increased by about 35% from £1.40 to £1.90 per litre for diesel.

“Following a petition from 28 drivers and separate emails from six other drivers, we feel this increase is the fairest for both the drivers and the public.”

Leader Cllr David Monk said: “The taxi trade in Folkestone & Hythe provides a high-quality service and adheres to the highest safety standards. Due to the pandemic, we have seen drivers leave the profession to take other jobs and we don’t want to the trade to be further depleted.”

The public consultation runs until Tuesday 26 July. To see how you can take part, please go here: folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/hackney-fare-tariff/consultation

By Ed

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