South Ribble Taxi drivers are seeking a rise in fares

STRUGGLING: Ray Bailey of the South Ribble Taxi Owners Association with fellow drivers

STRUGGLING: Ray Bailey of the South Ribble Taxi Owners Association with fellow drivers

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The South Ribble Taxi Owners Association have collected the names of 63 hackney carriage drivers and two private hire drivers who want to see a rise of 40p in tariffs after being asked to prove the demand by licencing chiefs.

Drivers claim that since the last fare rise in September 2011, bus and train fares have both risen, as have their own costs.

Now South Ribble Council has e vowed to publicise the proposal and report back on their decision after the Christmas and New Year period.

Ray Bailey of the South Ribble Taxi Owners Association, said: “The tariffs have not gone up for over three years, but our costs have and the council is giving out more and more badges to people wanting to be drivers.

“There’s less and less footfall, and the slice of the cake to go around is getting much smaller.”

Currently the metre starts at £2 for tariff one - from 6am to midnight - and lasts for three tenths of a mile, when it costs 20p per mile thereafter.

The proposal is to increase the ‘flag drop’ to £2.20, make it last for two tenths of a mile, and then charge 20p per mile.

The ‘flag drop’ for tariff two - from midnight to 6am - could increase from £2.70 to £3, and on tariff three at Christmas and New Year, would rise from £3.60 to £4. It would also remain at 20p per mile thereafter.

Mr Bailey added: “Fares going up by 40p is nothing really. You’re always going to get some complaints, but people who get taxis are doing it for convenience, and the luxury of having a door-to-door service.

“It’s worth noting that in the three years since our fare increase, both National Rail and Fishwicks buses have put their prices up and the minimum wage has gone up from £6.08 to £6.50 and hour.”