Ipswich taxi fares could increase by 10p per mile

Taxis lined up at Ipswich Hospital Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Taxis lined up at Ipswich Hospital Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

Taxi fares in Ipswich could increase by around 10p per mile this year, after council bosses agreed to launch a public consultation on the matter.

Fares for hackney carriages licensed by Ipswich Borough Council are normally reviewed annually, with the last fare rise having been in 2014 in line with the consumer price index.

Representatives from the Ipswich Station Taxi Tenants Association submitted a proposal for a fare increase, which the borough council’s executive on Tuesday night agreed to send out to public consultation.

It means that a standard day rate will increase by 3.3% from £6 to £6.20 for a two-mile journey, with the night rate increasing from £7.60 to £7.80 for a two mile journey.

Tariff three rates for Christmas and New Year would also increase by 20p for a two mile journey from £8.80 to £9.

Councillor Phil Smart, portfolio holder for environment and transport at the borough council, said: “The Ipswich Station Taxi Tenants Association put forward a proposal on behalf of the trade and presented it to the council as to what they would like to see. They all support this set of proposals.

“This is not a resolution to put up taxi fares - it’s a resolution to consult, but clearly if there are no objections then officers do have the power to put this into effect.”

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The consumer price index for 2015, 2016 and 2017 was around 0%, which meant a fare rise was not eligible.

However with the most recent CPI for the last three months at 3%, the proposal is in line with the agreement to rise fares in line with the index.

It is understood that taxi drivers believe it will represent a 3% increase in earnings for drivers, with the cost of fuel, insurance and car tax also having been considered.

A spokesman from the Ipswich Station Taxi Tenants Association said: “We put in for this rise as our fares have remained the same for four years whilst our running costs have gone up in the same period.”

The council’s report said it was important to “strike a reasonable balance between the needs of drivers and passengers”.

The consultation will get underway over the summer, with the new fares set to be introduced in October if no objections are submitted. If objections are received, the matter will be discussed at a future executive.

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