Taxi drivers and members of the public will be consulted over plans to increase taxi fares by 7% across the city.
Members of Aberdeen City Council’s licensing committee unanimously agreed to consult on the price hike at a meeting in the Town House yesterday.
Russell McLeod, managing director of Rainbow City Taxis, said a 7% increase would make “common sense”, claiming an increase would help offset the rising costs of running a vehicle in recent years.
He added: “It is a fair increase. Unfortunately some people think that’s a wage increase for the taxi drivers but the drivers have been subsidising costs for the last five years with no rise to compensate.”
The “majority” of drivers are in favour of an increase, according to the taxi firm boss.
He added: “We all know what the economy in Aberdeen has been like, but unfortunately our costs have just risen and risen over the last five years, and at some point we need to catch up.”
Currently passengers are charged £2.40 for the first 950 yards and then 20p for every additional 180.5yds.
Under the new pricing structure, this would change to £2.60 for the first 940yds, with 20p then charged for every 160yds travelled.
Part of the reason for the proposed increase is the result of new information being used to calculate prices.
Previously the council used information provided by the AA to work out costs but these figures have not been revised since 2014.
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During the committee meeting, taxi driver Mark Cullen spoke in favour of an increase to fares, adding he had canvassed members of the trade online,.
He said: “The vast majority are broadly in favour.”
Mr Cullen, who said he works for two major taxi firms in the city, added that, if approved, the fare rise would have to “sustain the trade” until at least July 2021.
A formal public consultation will be carried out on the proposed 7% increase, with responses to be made to the local authority by December 1.
Following the consultation, it is proposed that a report summarising the responses received is submitted to the licensing committee on December 3.
At that time, the committee will be invited to make a final decision on any changes to the fare scales.
After fixing the new scales, the licensing authority must give written notice to all taxi licence holders and the people and organisations consulted during the review, setting out and explaining the effect to the scales fixed.
If approved, the changes would come into effect on January 29.