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TAXI fares could increase in Havant borough to come into line with rising fuel prices.

Councillors at Havant Borough Council are considering proposals to increase the cost of using a hackney carriage.

These are the cabs you can flag down in the street or call to your home, but are separately regulated to private hire vehicles which you must book in advance.

Five options are being considered by the council, with price changes varying from zero to 15 per cent.

One option would be to increase the flag drop – the basic rate for using the taxi – from £2.40 to £2.80.

With an increase of 20p per mile, it would take the average two-mile journey price from £5.40 to £6.20.

In another option, the flag drop would increase by 20p, taking the average two-mile journey to £6.

Another proposal would see a two-mile journey increasing from £5.40 to £5.80.

A further option would remove the capping on maximum fares altogether.

The average fare in Hampshire is £5.83 for two miles.

Olwyn Kennedy, vice-chairwoman of the licensing committee, said: ‘In the past we have been approached by some of the hackney drivers. We sent out a consultation to see what they think.

‘You can see both sides of the argument.

‘One thing is that costs have been going up in petrol and diesel. A number of hackney drivers are saying they are more expensive than private car hire.

‘Some of them want it and some of them don’t. It will come to committee and be debated.’

The last fare increase took place in September 2008.

Hackney drivers across the borough have been consulted and made written submissions to the council.

One driver wrote: ‘We need more workable ranks – stop private hire sitting on every street corner and intercepting our flag downs.’

Another driver said: ‘Any increase is approved by me up to 10 per cent max.’

Another wrote: ‘Quite happy with the current rates – we are still much more expensive than private hire and any further hike will widen the gap further.’

Cllr Kennedy added: ‘It’s a sensitive issue, but they have not gone up for several years.’

A final decision will be made on Wednesday at The Plaza in Havant.

The meeting starts at 5pm.