Taxi fares increase is proposed for Wigan

Taxi fares could rise
Taxi fares could rise

An increase in some taxi fares could be adopted across Wigan - for the first time in seven years.

An 11 per cent rise has been suggested by the borough’s Hackney carriages association and will be considered by the council’s regulatory committee on Friday.

But the anticipated hike has not met with universal approval across the trade.

One driver, who has not been named, said: “I feel at the moment that there is no reason for a fare rise because the town is not as busy.

“People don’t have the extra cash to pay for fares and I feel that the increase will do more harm than good in a poor financial climate.”

Other drivers say they are feeling the pinch from competition coming from the Bluestar and Crusader Cars offices in the town centre.

However, Charles Oakes, of the Hackney Drivers Association, said in a letter to the council: “It has been some time since the Hackneys in Wigan have asked (the) council for an increase in fares and (they are) around 306 in the league tables. The trade now feel its time for an increase.”

Under the proposals, the ordinary tariff, which applies after 6am and before 11pm, would see the starting fare rise from £1.80 to £2.

And the second tariff, which is imposed after 11pm and before 6am, would go from £2.25 to £2.50.

The third tariff, which applies over the Christmas and New Year periods, is currently £3.60, and this would be £4 in future.

Currently Wigan’s fares are cheaper than those in Warrington, Bolton, Salford, West Lancashire and Manchester but slightly dearer than neighbouring St Helens.

Petrol and diesel prices have fluctuated since 2011 but are now steadily increasing, councillors have been told.

Insurance premiums were at their highest level in the second quarter of 2017, after rising over the previous three years, but have now dipped fractionally.

The rate of inflation has also wavered between 2.7 per cent in 2017 and 2,2 per cent now.