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Taxi fare review in Highland 2016/17

8th December 2016

The Highland Licensing Committee is recommending a number of changes to existing taxi fares following an annual review.

The proposed changes, which would take effect from end March next year, are:

• Increase Tariff 1 running mileage from £1.40 to £1.50 per mile;

•Increase waiting time from the current £18.00 per hour to £25 per hour.

• Payment by credit card - this charge can be no higher than the fee directly charged to the operator for using that credit cared to take payment. This charge may only be demanded if the customer is informed of the amount at the time of booking or before the journey commences.

• Increase the soiling charge from a maximum of £60 to a maximum of £100.

• Outward journey supplementary booking charge (for hires commencing 3 miles or more away from stance/base) - The maximum surcharge shall be the actual cost at Tariff 1 rate of travelling to the pick-up point or drop-off point whichever is the closer to the taxi or taxi-base.

Members also agreed that the taxi Tariff card wording will be amended to clarify that the Tariff charged is a combination of both time and distance.

The proposals are part of the review of the scale of maximum taxi fares in the Highlands. Full details of the draft new taxi tariff will be promoted by the Council during December 2016 and published on the Council's website. Members of the public will have until early January 2017 to respond to the proposals.

Responses will be reported back to the Council's Highland Licensing Committee on Tuesday 7 February with a proposed implementation – subject to no appeal to the Traffic Commission being made by the end of March 2017.

In reviewing the fares, the Council has taken into account increases in the costs of operating taxis, such as rising diesel, petrol and overall vehicle running costs.

Councillor Ian Cockburn, Chair of the Highland Licensing Committee, said: "Members of the Licensing Committee have to weigh up the differing wishes of taxi operators with the expectations of the public. It is important that anyone that uses taxis - especially those who depend on them for regular use – checks out the proposed new taxi tariff and makes their comments known."

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