Hackney carriage fares set to rise in Wakefield district for first time since 2011

Hackney carriage fares have fallen behind the rest of West Yorkshire.
Hackney carriage fares have fallen behind the rest of West Yorkshire.

Fares for hackney carriage passengers in Wakefield are set to rise, subject to a public consultation.

Under proposals expected to come into force at the start of next year, the price of a six mile journey during the day will rise from £10.60 to £11.50.

The new fares will kick in in the new year.

The new fares will kick in in the new year.

At night, the cost of the same journey will go up from £12.20 to £13.10.

If approved, it will be the first time fares for hackney carriages in the district have gone up since 2011.

The district's Private Hire and Hackney Carriages Association, which represents drivers, had asked for the changes to bring Wakefield into line with other local authority areas.

But they turned down the offer of an incremental fare rise every year.

Cabbies had wanted their more expensive night-time tariff to start at 11pm, rather than midnight, but councillors refused that request.

Cabbies had wanted their more expensive night-time tariff to start at 11pm, rather than midnight, but councillors refused that request.

Speaking at a licensing committee meeting on Wednesday, licensing officer Dave Hollis told councillors: "The increases amount to around 50 or 60 pence per mile.

"The new fares are not radically different to the ones that are charged at the moment.

"We met with representatives of the trade, and they believed that an annual rise in fares would not be supported by the public.

"So they've hung on to the current fares for a long time, to the point that in West Yorkshire they're now at the bottom (price wise).

"We did ask if they wanted to look at a way of doing it on a yearly basis, but they weren't interested."

Councillors gave a provisional green light to the increase, though members of the public can now contact Wakefield Council with their views on the rise before it is put into practice.

But the committee did not support cabbies' requests for the more expensive night-time tariff to come into force at 11pm, instead of midnight as it is currently.

Councillors said that move may prove too costly for low-paid shift workers doing their jobs late into the night.

But Waj Ali, chairman of the drivers' association, was critical of that decision, and accused the licensing of committee of "not seeing things from our perspective."

He said: "When you have a night-time economy that starts at 10pm, it makes sense that we should be able to charge a little bit extra to cover your costs.

"Other authorities have their night-time tariff starting earlier. One even has theirs starting at 8pm.

"We're under pressure and have competition from Uber and a lot of other operators from outside the area.

"But the licensing committee doesn't seem to want to help us, only to hinder us."

Selected changes to fares

1 mile journey between 6am and 11pm (tariff 1) rises from £3.10 to £3.60

4 mile journey between 11pm and 6am (tariff 2) rises from £8.80 to £9.50

8 mile journey during the day rises from £13.60 to £14.70

8 mile journey at night rises from £15.60 to £16.70

Soiling charge rises from £30 to £45.

Tariff 3 changes

Tariff 3 applies between 6pm on Christmas Eve and 6am on December 27, and between 6pm on New Year's Eve and 6am on January 2.

It also applies during the rest of the year where more than four passengers are carried at a time.

Under proposals, the price of a five mile journey under these conditions rises from £13.50 to £14.85.

An eight mile journey goes from £20.25 to £22.05.

Local Democracy Reporting Service