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Taxi drivers' fury at 'unfare' increase

PUBLISHED: 12:30 20 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:41 03 March 2010

ANGRY taxi drivers are furious today after their demands for fare increases were rejected by town chiefs.

Drivers in Ipswich wanted an increase of 40p per journey but Ipswich Borough Council mandarins only raised the tariff by half that amount.

ANGRY taxi drivers are furious today after their demands for fare increases were rejected by town chiefs.

Drivers in Ipswich wanted an increase of 40p per journey but Ipswich Borough Council mandarins only raised the tariff by half that amount.

It might be good news for customers but taxi drivers fear they could be forced off the road due to being unable to cover motoring costs.

Drivers have also reacted to claims that Ipswich has some of the most expensive taxis in the country. Of the 397 licensing authorities in the country Ipswich are currently the 71st most expensive for day rates and 209th for night rates. The average Ipswich fare is £4.30.

Eric Pearl, of the Ipswich Taxi Drivers Association, said: "We are putting in a petition of objection, which is the normal procedure."

He described the proposed 40p increase in taxi journeys as a "necessary evil" to meet motoring costs.

"There has already been a decrease in the number of cars in Ipswich. There will be another 50 or so lost unless we get the increase that we need.

"The small fare increase will not be enough to encourage new people into the trade," he added.

Mr Pearl claims that service standards will plummet unless the council meets the demands of taxi drivers.

He continued: "For the last four or five years increases have been around the five per cent mark. This year we are asking for an increase of about eight to ten per cent which is why the council is showing concern.

"We understand that concern but we need to explain that we have been trying to patch things up for the last four or five years and now we need the ten per cent increase to stabilise the situation."

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: "A formal objection has been made but it would be inappropriate to comment further until the next meeting of the licensing and regulatory committee on November 1 when it will be discussed."

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