Sheffield taxi drivers calling for '£5 per journey increase in black cab fares'
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Three members of the taxi trade wrote to the council asking for various increases in the prices of Hackney carriage journeys, saying they were being left behind as other drivers surge prices when demand rises and they were concerned about the impact of the Clean Air Zone on business.
One of the cab drivers, Ray Chappell, asked the council for a £5 per journey increase in fares and said: “I wish to propose a fare increase. We have not had one for many years and certainly not a significant one.
“Licensing authorities throughout the country are pressing us to go electric but with the fares as they are there is little incentive.
“You are aware that Uber surge their prices when it gets busy and even City cars recently raised their prices (half again) during Tramlines.
“In Sheffield Hackney carriages are left behind with very old fares despite increases in expenses.”
He said the “elephant in the room” was that the cost of upgrading to electric taxis to be compliant with the Clean Air Zone is between £48,000 and £60,000 - equivalent to around £900 per month over five years - and that many cabbies were already handing back their licences because it will not be viable.
Ibrar Hussain, taxi driver and former councillor, also requested an increase in fares including adding 20p on every station pick up job and the Taxi Trade Association asked for a 4.8 percent increase across fares.
Sheffield Council's licensing committee is set to discuss and make a decision on the proposals in meeting on December 20.
What is Sheffield's Clean Air Zone?
The Clean Air Zone will be implemented next year and it will mean that drivers of taxis, lorries, buses, coaches and vans will have to pay a daily charge to drive in the city centre if their vehicle does not meet at least the Euro 6 diesel or Euro 4 petrol emissions standard.
Taxis and vans that do not meet the emission standards will be charged £10 a day and coaches, buses and lorries will be charged £50 a day.