asingstoke and Deane Borough Council's licensing committee is to consider a possible increase in taxi fares after a request by the Hackney Carriage Federation. The federation wants a rise in tariffs across the borough to offset an increase in the retail price index, rising petrol prices and the mounting cost of servicing and taxi parts. The report that it presented to licensing committee members states that approval of the requested increases will still mean that taxi fares in Basingstoke and Deane will compare favourably with those in neighbouring authorities.
The proposed tariff would set the cost of a five-mile journey, including the minimum fare, at £8.80 in Basingstoke and Deane compared to £15 in Hart and £10.30 in West Berkshire. The federation is proposing no increase in the minimum fare, which is currently set at £2.40 and applies when a passenger boards a taxi. Nor is it wishing to alter the tariff that applies after five miles, which it recommends should stay at £1.60 per mile. What it wants to do is reduce the distance at which incremental charges are added above the minimum fare. Currently, 20 pence is charged after the first 293 yards and then for every further 293 yards until the journey reaches five miles. The proposal is to reduce these distances to 270 yards.
The effect of these changes is that passengers would pay an average of around £1.30 per mile for the first five miles, about 10 pence more than the existing figure or around a 60 pence increase for a five mile journey. This latter amount is the maximum that the cost of any journey could rise.