Councillors shoot down proposed Great Yarmouth taxi price hike in less than 10 minutes
PUBLISHED: 19:45 22 October 2018 | UPDATED: 19:45 22 October 2018
Archant Norfolk © 2016
A proposed price hike of taxi fares has been unanimously rejected by councillors.
The request to increase fares was made to Great Yarmouth Borough Council by an unnamed local taxi firm, but was rejected by the licensing committee in just 10 minutes on Monday.
Under the proposals, the day and night rates, excluding Sundays, would have increased by 75p per mile.
On Sundays, the cost would rise by £1.05 per mile, and 65p under the Christmas and New Year rate.
Cllr Michael Jeal said: “They have defeated their own argument when they say their costs have increased because everyone has to deal with the rise.
“We are all dealing with austerity and I think this is excessive.
“People who use taxis, especially to go to the shops and supermarkets, will start using the buses because it costs them less.
“They will be cutting their noses off to spite their face.”
The firm behind the proposal said in a statement to the meeting: “Taxi fares have not increased since 2013 but operating costs have.
“Hourly rates of pay have increased, and a further increase is being discussed, and fuel prices are on the increase.
“Everyone’s cost of living is on the rise and we think it is much deserved.”
Had the proposals been approved by the council, they would have been put forward for public consultation before any increase was introduced.
Cllr Graham Carpenter, vice chairman of the committee, said: “We try to put these decisions outside the council so the public can make their decision.
“This was brought to us by an independent firm.”
The move had sparked a backlash from some taxi drivers.
One independent taxi driver responded to the council consultation, saying: “The price increase is unnecessary and would be detrimental to all those who are independent and the smaller taxi companies.
“With Great Yarmouth being a deprived area, all the increase will achieve is the small tips we do receive stopping altogether.
“There are many times when we sit out there for hours on end waiting for our next job so we can make ends meet at home and this proposed price increase would surely make a very hard job a lot harder.”