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Cabbies Still In The Dark Over Possible Newport Taxi Fee Increase

Cab drivers in Newport worried about an increase in the taxi fees they need to pay will have to wait for the council to make a decision as there is to be a second consultation on the matter. Members of the council have asked taxi drivers for their opinion on new plans to have an across the board increase with no specific rise in fees for vehicles that are more than 12 years old.

Previously, there were proposals to increase fees for cabs over 12 years old but cab drivers were against this on the grounds that it would represent a form of taxi age limit. According to Allan Morris, a Labour councillor and chairman of the local taxi licensing committee, there is nothing stopping the council from going back to its original plans. He acknowledged that the taxi trade would be negatively affected by a fee increase but also claimed that the council’s decision will be in the best interests of public safety and taxi standards.

Councillors have thought of a plan to increase the cost of badge fees, operator licenses and vehicle fees in order to get back an estimated £65,000 on the cost of operating the industry. However, the new proposals would mean that vehicles aged 12 and over would only have to pay the same £242 license fee as vehicles that are three years old or over. The council are also considering a Green Incentive which would entail a 25% discount on licenses for taxis that do not have to pay road tax. Yet it is believed that badges and licenses would be more expensive than what was initially planned.

It is worth noting that the new proposals are still designed to cover council costs when it comes to providing services for the trade. A meeting in early November agreed on a 28 day consultation and on this day, council members meet members of the taxi industry. The director of Dragon Taxis, Andrew Barley, said that while he knew the council has to cover its deficit, its proposals were damaging the trade as cabbies are earning less. He said that his company had to remove meters from its cabs because tariffs were too high. He lamented the fact that takings continue to fall.

Source: southwalesargus.co.uk