Taxi hike increase plan for Wigan is delayed

A proposed Hackney carriage fare increase for Wigan has been delayed
A proposed Hackney carriage fare increase for Wigan has been delayed

A decision that could see Wigan residents dig deeper into their pockets for a ride home has been delayed by the town hall.

The council is considering raising hackney carriage fares for the first time in seven years after a request from drivers.

But the authority’s regulation committee has pushed the decision back to its next meeting to allow more time for discussion with union representatives, the council said.

Starting points for three base tariffs- reflecting what time of day journeys have been booked – would rise by 20p, 25p and 40p to £2, £2.50 and £4, respectively, if the application is approved.

The request from Charles Oakes of the Hackney Drivers Association said: “It has been some time since hackneys in Wigan have asked…for an increase. The trade now feels it’s time.”

Local authorities set hackney carriage fares as a maximum rate drivers can charge although they can ask for less if they choose to.

Since the request was made in November, the council conducted a consultation for relevant business owners and drivers that received a 17pc response rate.

Of those to respond, 53 supported the increase – which would reflect rising fuel, living and insurance costs – and three were in opposition.

One letter of objection reads: “I feel at the moment there is no reason for a fare rise because the town is not as busy, people do not have the extra cash to pay for fares. I feel the increase will do more harm than good in a poor financial climate.”

Another driver’s letter presented to the committee reads: “The proposed increase is very insignificant yet the public will see it as a fare increase but the proprietors and drivers will see no real benefit.”

Wigan council’s regulation committee meets next on Friday, July 13