Ipswich's taxi fares on the rise

TAXI fares are set to go up after town chiefs agreed to the demands of Ipswich cabbies for a hike in prices, it emerged today.

TAXI fares are set to go up after town chiefs agreed to the demands of Ipswich cabbies for a hike in prices, it emerged today.

Around 120 Hackney carriage cabbies claimed they were prepared to strike unless bosses at Ipswich Borough Council delivered the increases in fares they demanded.

This worked out as a 20p increase in initial distance charges as opposed to percentage increases for each part of the journey travelled.

Despite council officers labelling the demands “frontloaded” and “excessive”, members of the council's executive opted for the cabbies' proposed shake-up over two alternative options suggested by officers.

Ipswich Borough Council leader, Liz Harsant, said: “We have gone along with what they wanted.

“It makes it better for them when they have to do short trips from the railway station to the waterfront.

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“Beyond the initial fare, when you work it out, the rates become better for the passenger the longer the journey goes on than the options the council officers put forward.

“I think everybody benefits from it.”

Cabbies claimed two of the options for increases proposed by the council did not go far enough and insisted on a 20p hike in initial distance charges.

This will see the existing daytime initial distance charge, which has been at the same level for several years, increase from £2.40 to £2.60.

John Williams-Davies, chairman of the Ipswich Station Taxi Tenants Association, said cabbies now make increasing numbers of short journeys from taxi ranks at the railway station and Lloyds Avenue due to Ipswich's growing waterfront.

He said that initial distance fares have not increase for several years despite diesel fuel now costing close to £1 a litre.

Mr Williams-Davies said: “We are more than happy with the council's decision.

“It is about time that they see our point of view. We weren't asking for the world, just a fair rise on the flag price.”

What do you make of the increase in prices? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

What you get for your money:

A short trip from Ipswich train station to Lloyds Avenue, town centre.

Before: Around £3.80

After: Around £4

A trip from Ipswich train station to pinewood

Before: Around £5/£6

After: £5.20/£6.20

Note: Hackney carriage fares are calculated not only on the distance travelled but the time taken as well. Sitting in traffic for 20 minutes will mean customers paying significantly more than the above quoted fares.

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