Hackney carriage fares in Wakefield could rise

Fares last went up in Wakefield in 2011
Fares last went up in Wakefield in 2011

Fares for hackney carriages in the Wakefield district could rise for the first time in more than seven years.

Drivers have asked the council, who control the rates, to approve an increase in what passengers pay.

Under the proposals the price of a 10 mile journey during the day would rise from £14.60 to £17.10.

Any changes, which would be the first since 2011, would not apply to private hire vehicles.

The Wakefield Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Drivers Association said that the increase was needed as a result of rising costs for drivers and new council rules on emissions.

Chairman Wajid Ali said: "There's already been a 20 per cent rise in private hire fares recently, so we're catching up with them.

"It does mean a higher cost for the public, but these are costs levied by the council that we need to pass on to the consumer.

He added: "This is just the start. Expect more increases."

No decision has yet been made, but councillors have already indicated they're reluctant to accept another request from drivers to extend the length of the night-time tariff, which is more expensive than its day-time counterpart.

Night-time charges currently apply between midnight and 6am and on bank holidays, but drivers now want the tariff to start at 9pm instead.

Speaking a licensing meeting, Councillor Tracey Austin said: "I couldn't support bringing it forward from midnight. I don't see a reason for changing that time.

"We've workers all over the district who work in bars and restaurants and they need to get home.

"After midnight the price goes up and that's fine, but not before then. I think we should keep it as it is."

Drivers have also asked for a third tarriff, which currently only applies during the Christmas and new year period to be extended.

They want these rates, which are even more pricey than the night-time charges, to be applied when more than 2cm of snow falls and during the Muslim festival of Eid.

But the council indicated they would not support a hike during severe weather conditions, with licensing committee Martyn Johnson saying it was "unacceptable" to force the public to pay more because of snow.