This is how much taxi fares are going up in Sheffield over Christmas and New Year

Lockdown restrictions have put paid to nights out and parties in Sheffield over Christmas and New Year – but taxi drivers will still be on the roads during 2020’s festive season catering for passengers who need to get around.
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City Taxis, which is Sheffield’s biggest private hire firm and handles the majority of bookings locally, had been expected to charge time and a half on certain days over the holiday period – but the company has now announced it will keep its normal fares instead.

The business said the decision was made following ‘the Government's Tier 3 announcement’. “This means you can travel to see loved ones, your bubble and to/from work over Christmas and New Year without the added pressure of a fare increase.”

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Journeys in hackney carriages – black cabs, which can only be hailed on the street – will cost more over Christmas.

There is an additional £2 charge for trips between 6pm on December 24 and 6am on December 27, then from 6pm on December 31 to 6am on January 2.

Uber, meanwhile, has been rolling out its ‘upfront pricing’ policy in the UK, where customers and drivers know the exact cost of a trip before it is confirmed. However, this will still be subject to ‘dynamic pricing’ – a new version of the ride-hailing service’s surge pricing system – when demand is high.

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Taxi drivers in Sheffield have told The Star of the unprecedented challenges created by curbs on travel and social gatherings.

A taxi in Sheffield city centre. Picture: Scott Merrylees.A taxi in Sheffield city centre. Picture: Scott Merrylees.
A taxi in Sheffield city centre. Picture: Scott Merrylees.
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Shahnawaz Khan, a cabbie of 27 years, said: "The taxi trade has taken a serious hit this time of year, with no Christmas gatherings or events. You could come out for an eight-hour shift, and have three jobs.

"We all have our fingers crossed for better times next year.”

Drivers are eligible for £500 support grants from Sheffield Council if they are licensed by the authority and live in South Yorkshire or bordering areas.

The unified five-day Christmas bubble plans have been scrapped by the Government due to increased coronavirus infection rates and fears over a new Covid mutation, with rules now varying across the UK.

Arnie Singh, MD of City Taxis.Arnie Singh, MD of City Taxis.
Arnie Singh, MD of City Taxis.
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In Sheffield, where Tier 3 restrictions are in place, up to three households can meet indoors on Christmas Day. This cannot include anyone from a Tier 4 zone.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.