Taxi fares could increase in Malvern
Taxi fares could increase in Malvern for the first time in six years following a call by drivers to raise prices.
Malvern Hills District Council’s executive committee rejected a call by the town’s taxi drivers to put up prices by ten per cent to £4.40 for a one-mile journey last September but agreed to meet to find a compromise.
Councillors meet again next week (May 6) to decide whether to keep fares the same or allow an increase.
Taxi drivers argued the increase is needed because of the rise in the living wage, inflation and council tax as well as rises in bus and train tickets.
The three options put forward include keeping prices the same, keeping the first mile the same and charging more for every extra mile or increasing the cost of the first mile by an extra 10p and also charging more for every extra mile.
If councillors decide to increase fares, the base fare could rise from £4 to £4.10 with each extra mile also rising by 10p from £2.50 to £2.60.
The 2.5 per cent increase would be well below the ten percent rise the town’s drivers formally requested last year.
Alistair Smith, trade representative for hackney carriages and private hire taxis in Malvern, said the living wage had risen by 30 per cent since the last fare increase and fares would need to rise by around 15 per cent to cover the cost.
Despite not increasing fares for six years, Malvern already has the most expensive two-mile journey in the county at £6.40.
The national average fare for a two-mile journey is £5.98 according to monthly figures published by Private Hire and Taxi Monthly.
The magazine placed Malvern as having the 90th most expensive fare in a table of 358 councils.
Only a basic fare would increase under the proposal with late-night, Bank Holiday, Christmas and New Year prices staying the same.
If councillors agree to the fare increase, the proposals would go to public consultation and be accepted as long as no objections were raised by the council.
Malvern Hills District Council’s executive committee meets next Wednesday to discuss the proposal.
By Christian Barnett - Local Democracy Reporter