Taxi fares in Rugby are set to become the most expensive in the Midlands after a price hike of more than 20 per cent for a two-mile journey was approved by councillors.
The increased fares will now be subject to a two-week consultation and could be in place by the beginning of March.
Members of Rugby Borough Council’s licensing and safety committee voted for the increase at their meeting this week, January 25, following feedback from drivers and operators.
A report from licensing officer Emma Payne explained that a four-week consultation was carried out in October and 40 per cent of those who responded said they were in favour of increasing fares by more than 15 per cent, in part to cover the increase in fuel prices.
She explained that fares were last increased in March 2018 and added: “Within this review it is important to find a balance between the income generated by taxi drivers to cover their day-to-day costs and costs associated with licensing processes as well as considering the needs of residents and visitors to the borough.”
The change will mean the cost of a two-mile taxi journey will soar from £5.80 to £7 - an increase of 21 per cent. That would see Rugby climb from 214th out of 359 councils and into the top 30 alongside Harrogate, Hertsmere and Stroud. The average cost across the whole country is £6.06.
There are three different tariffs for taxi fares. The first - which will rise to £7 for a two-mile journey - is for trips taken between 6am and midnight with other tariffs used after midnight and over the Christmas period. The two-mile cost for these will rise to £10.35 and £13.80 respectively.
Councillors at this week’s meeting were informed that Rugby was one of the first local authorities to raise prices this year and others were expected to follow.
Currently the cheapest place to hail a cab in the UK is Middlesborough where a two-mile journey costs just £4.30. Away from Heathrow and Luton airports, the most expensive taxis are in London, Epsom and Ewell where the same trip costs £8.60.