Taxi fares look set to increase in Cheshire East as drivers are hit by soaring fuel prices on top of the rising cost of living. The council’s licensing committee – which sets the maximum fares Hackney carriages can charge – will consider increasing the rate when it meets on Monday (June 6).
A report to the committee states: “A number of emails have been received from various parts of the trade requesting an increase to the fares. Some suggested increases have been received and, where appropriate and proportionate, these have been included in the proposals before the committee.
“However, we must be mindful that many customers on low or fixed incomes rely on taxis for travel. The increase in fares must therefore be balanced against customer expectations.”
The borough is split into three zones when it comes to taxis, based on the former borough council areas. Because of a dispute over harmonisation years ago, fares in the Congleton and Macclesfield zones have not been increased since 2015.
In the Crewe and Nantwich zone the last increase was in 2018. Fares in each of the three zones are different with Hackney carriages in Congleton currently charging a maximum of £3.10 for its first mile rate, those in Crewe and Nantwich charging £4.40 and Macclesfield £3.40.
It is proposed to increase the Congleton first mile rate to £3.70, Crewe and Nantwich to £4.50 and Macclesfield to £4. The increase in the second mile rate in all three zones is proposed to be 10p per tenth of a mile. All these figures relate to the day time rate.
There are also proposals to increase these rates for night time – which is between 11.30pm and 7am – and Bank Holidays. Again the night-time rate in each zone differs.
Congleton is currently £4.60 for the first mile and the proposal is to raise this to £5.50. In Crewe and Nantwich it is currently £4.60 and the proposal is to raise it to £6 and in Macclesfield it is £5.10 and the proposal is to raise it to £6.50.
The committee on Monday will be asked to consider the report and resolve that the proposals for each zone are approved for publication and consultation.
The new fares will only come into effect once any objections, if received, have been considered. Any change in fares only relates to Hackney carriage vehicles.
The council has no power to set the fees in relation to private hire vehicles. The meeting takes place on Monday at 2pm at the council’s Westfields HQ at Sandbach.