Cabbies may get lower fares rise

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TAXI drivers who have lobbied for a 10 per cent fares increase are likely to get less than half what they have asked for when council licensing bosses meet next week.

Members of the Sheffield Taxi Trade Association last saw fares increase in October 2010, after deferring their request for an increase last year because of the recession.

But in a letter to licensing officers, its chairman Hafeas Rehman said drivers were no longer able to manage with frozen fares because of an increase in costs.

He said: “Since the last fare increase the cost of fuel has gone up by 18 per cent. Over the same period insurance has gone up by over 60 per cent.

“Taxi drivers need to recover the burden of these inflation-busting costs associated with the business. Council fees for taxi badges and vehicle licences also went 
up.

“Drivers have been extremely patient and are only requesting the increase because it is needed to recover costs, we have not gone mad like bus and rail companies.”

At present, a 10-mile journey in a Sheffield licensed hackney cab will cost £17.90 during the day and £18.40 at night.

Under council proposals those cots would increase to £18.60 during the day and £19.10 at night, an increase of nearly four per cent.

In a report to the committee, which meets next Thursday, head of licensing Steven Lonnia said the council’s proposals were still open to debate.