Council to decide on changes to taxi fares and licensing policy following consultations

News release from 10 October 2017, 10:02am

POTENTIAL changes to taxi fares and taxi licensing rules are set to be discussed by Cambridge City Council, following consultations with the taxi trade and taxi users.

Two reports being presented to the council’s Licensing Committee on 16 October show the responses from two consultations held earlier this year.

The first consultation followed requests from the taxi trade to make changes to the Hackney Carriage Table of Fares, following rises in London fares, which is regarded as a benchmark for Cambridge. These proposed changes, to be considered by the Licensing Committee, include:

  • Adding a 10p increase in basic starting tariffs,
  • Adding an extra charge of £1 for carrying bikes which are not able to fit in a vehicle’s luggage compartment.

The second consultation was on some proposed amendments to the taxi licensing policy suggested by members of the trade. These proposed changes, to be considered by the Licensing Committee, include:

  • Removal of the need for all licensed vehicles to carry a first aid kit;
  • Removal of the need for all licensed vehicles to carry a fire extinguisher;
  • Requiring all relevant vehicles to carry a card payment device and accept credit/debit cards;
  • Adding a colour requirement to distinguish Hackney carriage vehicles from other private hire vehicles;
  • Changing the age limits for vehicles – a new licence cannot currently be granted for a vehicle more than four years old;
  • Adding a condition that CCTV be installed in vehicles, which could only be accessed by the police or the licensing authority;
  • Allowing rear-loading wheelchair accessible vehicles, as well as side-loading ones.

The consultations were held between 31 July and 3 September. 10 objections were received during the taxi fares consultation, while 37 responses and two separate petitions were received during the taxi licensing policy consultation policy.

At its meeting on 16 October the Licensing Committee will consider the responses received during the consultations and decide whether or not the proposed changes to fares and to the taxi licensing policy should be introduced.

Cllr Gerri Bird, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “We were pleased to have received many responses from members of the taxi trade and interested parties to our consultations on taxi fares and the taxi licensing policy.

“We will now use this feedback to help us decide whether or not to make the proposed changes. Both the taxi fares table and the taxi licensing policy are important mechanisms for ensuring that Cambridge’s taxi service continues to be safe, efficient and accessible for all.”

The council is responsible for licensing all taxi proprietors and operators in Cambridge, as well as Hackney carriage, private hire and dual drivers.