Drivers vote for big increase in Hackney cab fare in Havant

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cab fares are going up 10 per cent following the first rise since 2008.

Hackney plate owners in Havant have voted in the increase after years of resistance due to the economic downturn.

Although drivers can charge less than the agreed amount they cannot charge more. The rise has put some customers off and drivers say only time will tell how many stop using them.

Murray Hill has been a hackney driver in Havant for the past eight months and worked in Portsmouth for 12 years before that.

His rank is outside Havant Railway Station.

He said: ‘The rise was long overdue.

‘It means a job from here to Langstone Technology Park has gone up from £4.60 to £5.

‘That’s fine for business people who come down from London. But it’s a double-edged sword because locals have said to me “we won’t be using you again”.

‘From here to Leigh Park it’s gone from £5 to £5.80. It seems a lot but there hasn’t been a rise for six years.

‘People need to understand that. Rent for the vehicle is £200 to £300. We also have to pay badge (licence) fees, insurance and income tax.’

The fares are set following a vote by hackney plate owners in Havant and regulated by Havant Borough Council.

Mike Hudson is one of the plate holders who voted for the increase.

He said: ‘No customers have complained to me about the price rise. This is overdue.

‘It’s taken a long time to bring in because we needed a 75 per cent majority to achieve it and that can take a while.’

The cost of buying a taxi licence from the council is also going up in April – from £209 to £219.

Andrew Pritchard, Service Manager for Environmental Health said: ‘Historically fees varied from one authority to another. In order to ensure transparency we set fees which recover the costs associated with delivering the taxi licensing function.

‘For Havant Borough Council this has meant an increase for hackney licences this year as in previous years the fees charged did not fully cover the cost to the council in administering the taxi licencing function.’