COUNCILLORS have agreed to make changes to taxi tariffs after receiving objections.
Weymouth and Borough Council’s Licensing Committee met yesterday to discuss increases to the Hackney Carriage tariff.
The committee had previously approved a request in April from the Weymouth and Portland Hackney Carriage Association for the changes.
These included an increase to the minimum charge during the day to £2.50 for a minimum distance of 230 yards.
In addition, the tariff would increase the charge levied for the first mile by 10p, and increase by 10p the charge levied for subsequent miles.
Meanwhile, the night time rate would see the minimum charge increase to £3 for a minimum distance of 230 yards.
The charge levied for the first mile would increase to £6, whilst the charge levied for subsequent miles would increase by 20p.
But Hackney Carriage driver Eddie Hawkins objected to the plans.
He argued an increase at this time would turn more trade away and reduce taxi drivers’ income.
In a late letter submitted to the committee he said: “It can be stated that the cost of living has increased, but it has also increased for our customers, giving them less to spend.
“The choice between taxis or much cheaper Private Hire becomes a no-brainer.”
Members of the committee heard from Ray Maslen, chairman of the Weymouth and Portland Hackney Carriage Association.
He said: “People no longer look for a taxi. They phone for one to come to them.
“Many taxi drivers are part time.
“Some have other full time jobs. Some taxi drivers have a mixture of part time work and part time taxiing.
“No taxi driver can make a sole living off the ranks.”
Mr Maslen said the proposals had already gone through a number of stages.
He added: “There has been no objection from the fare paying public.
“The will of the people is to allow the tariff card changes.”
The committee met yesterday to decide whether to modify the table of fares or uphold it as originally proposed.
Cllr Kate Wheller proposed the committee continue to support an increase to the daytime rate and add 10p to the minimum charge.
However, she recommended that the planned increase of 10p on every mile be scrapped, alongside any increase to the night time rate. Other agreed changes to the tariff card would remain as they were.
Cllr Ray Nowak supported Cllr Wheller’s suggestion. He said the committee needed to make sure Weymouth had a good quality taxi service. The decision to modify the changes was passed with a majority of 7-1.