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Weymouth and Portland cabbies want to put up charges
FARES for Hackney cabs in Weymouth and Portland are to rise if councillors give the green light.
Weymouth and Portland Hackney Carriage Association has requested an increase of 20p on the charge for the first mile.
The potential rise is set to be discussed at a meeting of the licensing committee of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, which licences the vehicles, on February 7.
If approved, the increase could see the borough rise from 32nd position in a national league table of tariffs, to 15th position, depending on other rises across the country.
Ray Maslen, chairman of the Weymouth and Portland Hackney Carriages Association, said the ‘small’ increase reflects a rise in inflation.
He added: “Inflationary pressures are the same for everyone, whether you’re driving a bus, a train or a taxi. Everyone is suffering in this economic climate, and hackney carriage drivers are no different.
“Charges for public transport have increased, and buses and trains get subsidies that we don’t.
“Our drivers are getting squeezed, and these small increases are just because we are trying to earn a living.”
If given the go-ahead, drivers of Hackney cabs will be able to charge £2.40 for the first mile – up from £2.20 – but there will be no increase to the charge of £2.40 for a minimum distance of 230 yards, and no increase to the charge for subsequent miles.
The charges would mean an increase of 4.3 per cent on the charge levied for the first mile, or 1.7 per cent over a five-mile journey. The night-time rate for the first mile would rise from £2.30 to £2.50 – an increase of four per cent for the first mile or 1.5 per cent for five miles.
Weymouth and Portland Borough councillor and spokeswoman for transport and infrastructure Christine James, pictured left, said: “I do sympathise with the drivers and I’m sure that making this request is not a decision they have made lightly.
“Petrol prices are due to go up again this year, so that’s obviously a consideration, and they have to make a living.
“But there is a chance it may frighten passengers off and put people off using them.”