Councillors have given the green light for a review of taxi fares – less than a month after the price of a journey was hiked by 7%.
Aberdeen City Council’s licensing committee has backed the review as a result of the drop-off charge at Aberdeen International Airport rising from £2 to £3.
Fares in the city increased on January 29 – but drop-off charges could not be incorporated in the review as it had already begun when they were announced in December.
That meant drivers taking passengers to and from the airport were still only able to recoup £2 – leaving them out of pocket.
Industry leaders hope the review will give the go-ahead for taxi drivers to add a surcharge to journeys when customers are using the express drop-off facility.
Aberdeen Taxi Group owner Graeme McColl said: “The review is based on the fact that although there was an increase in January, the drivers have had to bear the cost of the extra pound to drop off at the airport.
“Prices will definitely not be going up again. It is purely to ensure the trade and the drivers are not out of pocket.”
Fare reviews are only normally carried out every 18 months.
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The review is also aimed at simpifying the current card given to taxi drivers detailing tariff rates after claims it was too complicated.
Russell McLeod, managing director of Rainbow City Taxis, said: “It’s unfair to ask the drivers to have to bear the cost. All we want to do is ensure we are getting the pound back.”
Committee member Councillor Martin Greig said: “It is good we are able to work with the taxi and private hire businesses to make sure they get any help we are able to give them by reviewing the rates.”
Although the airport charges for use of its express drop-off facility, a free option is available at the long-stay car park, which is served by a shuttle bus to the terminal.
Steve Szalay, managing director at Aberdeen International Airport, said: “We haven’t revised the price structure at our express drop-off since April 2016 – almost four years.
“During that time we have invested £25 million in completely transforming the airport. We are focused on delivering the routes our passengers demand and the money raised from these parking charges will be reinvested in strengthening the north-east’s connectivity.
“We will continue to provide a free alternative in our long-stay car park which is served by a free and on-demand shuttle bus service.
“The express drop-off is only intended for short visits. We would encourage anyone who thinks they may be longer than 10 minutes to please use our short-stay car park or free option.”