Fixing of maximum taxi fares

Closes 20 Mar 2024

Opened 25 Jan 2024

Overview

Changes to maximum taxi fares

 

The cost of using a hackney carriage, more commonly known as a ‘taxi’, depends on when and how far you travel. The total cost is referred to as a ‘fare’ and is calculated on an electronic meter installed in the vehicle.

 

As well as licensing taxi drivers and vehicles, the Council can set the maximum that they can charge. The main charge is normally for the distance i.e. the further you go, the higher the end fare. There are also often extra charges for time delays, when there are higher numbers of passengers and costs are also multiplied during evenings, weekends and public holidays. When a Council sets maximum charges, it publishes them as a ‘table of fares’.

 

Tables of fares can vary dramatically from council to council, with different rates and/or percentage multipliers for different times of the day, days of the week and on public holidays. As the table of fares the council sets is a maximum rate that can be charged, this still leaves room for customers to negotiate lower fares and competition in the marketplace.

 

Somerset Council is proposing to introduce a new table of maximum charges to replace the four different tables adopted by the district councils that Somerset Council replaced last year i.e. Sedgemoor, Mendip, South Somerset and Somerset West and Taunton. You can view the existing tables here:

 

 

A working group of Licensing Officers came up with table of fares below, by blending different elements of the four existing ones. As there are so many different rates, measurements, multipliers and extras across the four existing tables, coming up with one was not straight forward.

 

No one table of the current four comes out as being the most ‘expensive’ when different fares for various journeys are calculated. For example, the most expensive charge for four people to travel 4 miles at 9am on a Monday is in the former South Somerset area, whereas the most expensive charge for six people to travel 7 miles at 1am on a Sunday is in the former Mendip area.

 

You can view broadly how much different journeys cost under the four existing tables and how much it would cost under the proposed table with our comparison. Please note these are fares calculated based on distance only and do not include any waiting time. Costs of journeys will be higher if the taxi has had to wait, such as in heavy traffic. As a result, fares can vary day by day for an identical journey.

 

Somerset Council – proposed table of fares

Standard tariff:

First mile

£4.60

For each completed 1/10 of a mile or part thereof

£0.30

Waiting time:

Each completed 2 minutes

£1.00

Non-standard tariffs (only one per fare):

Monday to Saturday between 23:00 and 07:00

+50%

Sundays all day

+50%

Bank holidays all day

+100%

Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, from 18:00 to 00:00

+100%

Extras:

In excess of 4 passengers, per extra passenger

£2.00

Soiling charge

£100

Toll/clean air zone charges

As required

 

Under our proposal, the maximum cost of a fare for most journeys would increase to some degree, but for others the maximum cost would be less than it currently is.

Why your views matter

Anyone can object to the proposed new table, by responding to our consultation.

If no objections are received, the table will come into effect on the 21st of March 2024.

If objections are received, they will be considered at the meeting of the Council’s Executive Committee on the 8th of May 2024, where elected councillors will decide whether to adopt the table or not. Details about the meeting, such as where it will be held, along with the agenda (once published) can be viewed here: Agenda for Executive on Wednesday, 8th May, 2024, 10.00 am - Modern Council (somerset.gov.uk)

 

The Executive Committee can decide to:

 

  • Adopt that table in full.
  • Adopt a variation of that table.
  • Leave the tables of fares as they are.

 

 

Give us your views