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Possible Fare Increase In Leighton

Bryan Burgin is the owner of Burgins Taxis in Station Approach, Leighton, and he is intent on increasing the fares across Central Bedfordshire. Hackney Carriage fares have not increased since January 2009 and Burgin thinks it is high time that this changed. He has sent a proposal letter to the licensing committee of the Central Bedfordshire Council and has already been supported by over 80 licensed drivers or cab owners.

At present, passengers pay £3 for a 1,500 yard journey but Burgin wants this increased to £3.20 for just 1,300 yards. The price for every 98 yards thereafter is 10p and Burgin is happy to keep this intact. He wants a fare increase to cover the increasing costs of insurance, maintenance and fuel after South and Mid Bedfordshire merged. He also wants bus lanes in Leighton and Dunstable to be made available to taxis. According to Burgin, the customer would benefit by being charged less and taxi operators would find that their fuel costs are kept low. In addition, this move would be environmentally friendly.

Burgin doesn’t stop there in his demands. The cab firm owner also believes that proposals to extend the existing taxi rank in Leighton Buzzard High Street should be pushed forward. Drivers agree that fares need to increase, especially as it has been years since the last increase. They also point out that inflation and rising fuel prices are ensuring that cabbies are out of pocket. They know that customers won’t be happy but fare increases are standard across the UK.

As expected, members of the public are not happy with these proposals. One such individual, who is a regular cab user, says that the council needs to focus on improving customer service first before increasing the price of taxis. This individual stated that there has been some serious issues with the level of taxi service in recent times. For example, there are not enough taxis and drivers tend to be extremely late for a call out.

This person also suggested that overcharging is rife and having lived in the area for almost 20 years, the unnamed individual knows when drivers are charging too much. A one mile journey currently costs £3.30 and would increase 40 pence under the new proposals. Cabbies in Luton Airport charge £5.30 for the same length of journey.

Source: leightonbuzzardonline.co.uk