The Committee considered a report requesting consideration of a potential increase in Hackney Carriage fares.
The Committee also received supplementary information, circulated prior to the meeting, which gave a comparison of fares charged in other Council areas on Christmas Day and New Day’s Day and included details of a representation received after the agenda was published
The Committee was advised that all hackney carriage proprietors had been consulted on the proposed alteration to the hackney carriage fare structure. The Committee received details of the amount of support received for each of the changes proposed.
In response to questions from Members of the Committee, the Officers advised that:
· The charge for entering the Portsmouth Clean Air Zone was only imposed on non-compliant vehicles.
· The introduction of Portsmouth Clean Air Zone charge had resulted in an increase in the number of hackney carriages being upgraded so that they became compliant vehicles: at the time of the meeting 45% of the hackney carriage fleet were non-compliant.
· A non-compliant vehicle could make several journeys in and out of the Portsmouth Clean Air zone on the same day but only be required to pay the charge once for that day.
· It was not proposed to increase the fare for Boxing Day.
· The fare for bank holidays, other than Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, would remain at time and a half.
· It would be difficult to manage a sliding scale for the soil charge.
· The soil charge imposed by Basingstoke and Deane Council depended upon the tariff charged at the time of the incident.
· The officers were not aware of any complaints received relating to the soil charge.
· The soil charge would be included in the fare chart that had to be displayed in the hackney carriage.
The Committee noted that a majority of the respondents had expressed support for the proposed increases to the “flag drop”, rolling mile and the fare charge for journeys on Christmas day and New Year’s Day.
With regard to the other changes proposed the Committee:
· Expressed concern that a charge for entering a Clean Air Zone would discourage owners from upgrading their vehicles to more environmentally friendly vehicles
· The proposed increase in the soil charge was appropriate to cover the costs of cleaning the vehicle and any loss of earnings
· There was insufficient support to justify an increase in the charge for customer picked up at Havant Station
The Committee therefore:
RECOMMENDED to Council that
(1) The following increases in the Hackney Carriage Fares be advertised:
i) an increase in the ‘flag drop’ from £2.40 to £3.00;
ii) an increase in the rolling mile charge from £1.70 to £1.80;
iii) an increase in the fare charged from 18:00 hours on Christmas Eve to 24:00 hours on Christmas Day and from 18:00 hours New Year’s Eve to 24:00 hrs on New Year’s Day from time and half to double time; and
iv) an increase in the soil charge from £50.00 to £75:00
(2) Any objections to the above proposals following the advertisement be considered by the Licensing Committee; and
(3) If there are no objections then the increase be implemented 28 days from the date the proposed fare increases were first advertised.