Using hackney cabs in Calderdale will soon cost you more

Taxi queue in George Street, Halifax
Taxi queue in George Street, Halifax

Customers using hackney cab taxis in Calderdale will soon pay more for their journey.

Members of Calderdale Council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee supported a request from Halifax Taxi Owners Association for a rise in rates for the initial part of a journey.

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It means an average two mile journey will cost around 21p more.

But the increase will not come in for several weeks as the change in fares will have to be advertised to allow members of the public a 28-day period in which they can object to the proposed increase.

The council pays the cost of the advertisement – it was £834.75 last year – and if there are no objections to the rise are received by the end of that period the increase will be implemented.

If there are objections however, the issue will be brought back before the committee to give it further consideration.

Mr Stephen Gale, chairman of Halifax Taxi Owners Association put the request on behalf of its members, asking councillors to consider an increase in taxi fares based on a national average figure or above.

Currently an average two-mile journey without extra fees (for example, the number of passengers in excess of two, if there are five or more passengers, hirings at certain times such as Christmas and New Year periods and soiling charges) costs £5.67 during tarrif one period, which is the daytime rate between 6am and 11pm, and £5.77 during tarrif two period, from 11pm to 6am.

The new agreed figure will see those rise to £5.88 and £5.98 respectively, and the cabs are also allowed to charge a waiting time of 21p per 36 seconds or part thereof in both tarrif periods.

A fair chunk of the charge is for the first 621 metres (679 yards) of a journey in tarrif one and for the first 460 metres (503 yards) in tarrif two, with a flat rate of 10p allowed per subsequent 72 metres (78 yards) and 62 metres (67 yards) of any journey respectively.

The rates are reviewed annually, with the last increase in August 2017.

An alternative presented to councillors was to increase the fares to what would be £5.72 and £5.82 respectively, a 2.4 per cent increase.

Mr Gales said the association’s calculations were based on the Bryan Roland Memorial National Hackney Carriage Fares Table for July 2018, which is printed in the Private Hire and Taxi Monthly publication.

This figure, based on tarrif one and surveying 366 councils throughout Britain, the figure arrived at dividing the total sum of two mile journey fares by the 366 councils.

He explained hackney cabs were specialised and costly to run, with fuel price rises also a consideration. “It’s just a modest increase really that we have applied for this year, taking into account fuel and the rest of it. We’re not asking for anything exceptional,” he said.

Coun Colin Peel (Con, Brighouse) said it was a ten per cent increase based on the figures in front of him. Coun Carol Machell (Lab, Todmorden) inquired that given this was an average figure, what were the rates in neighbouring authorities like Kirklees and Bradford? Coun Peel said Kirklees appeared to be £5 for the same average two mile journey.

But Coun Pat Allen (Lib Dem, Elland) said the cabs could not run without fuel and Coun Faisal Shoukat added: “If you want these vehicles, they have to be paid for.”

He proposed the increase suggested by Mr Gale be approved and although not unanmimously councillors agreed.