Taxi fare hike of 4.6% being considered

Borderers are facing a 4.6 per cent hike in taxi fares, it has emerged.

By Paul Kelly
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 2:51 pm
Taxi fares could be set to soar.

Scottish Borders Council reviews taxi fares every 18 months and must consult with operators and members of the public on any proposals to change the taxi fare tariff.

The council uses a formula which was agreed with the trade, the traffic commissioner and the council to determine variations in taxi rates.

The last review was concluded in August 2019, when fares were increased by 3.7 per cent, and a further review was due to be held in 2021.

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However, operational pressures and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic delayed that review.

As part of the latest review process, the council is required to invite all licensed taxi operators and members of the public to comment on a draft proposal to increase taxi fares by 4.6 per cent, a figure which is said to reflect rising costs for operators.

All the views gathered are to be presented at a forthcoming meeting of the council’s elected members.

Any change in tariffs is based on a formula tracking various motoring cost indicators, including vehicle costs and local wage rates, which was agreed by the trade, the traffic commissioner and the council back in 2009.

When the last public consultation was carried out in 2019 disapproval was expressed, from both the public and taxi drivers, at the proposed increase at the time.

One contributor said: “I think taxis in the Borders are very expensive by comparison to Uber and general cabs in Edinburgh. I live in St Boswell’s and work in Edinburgh. If I want to go out for more than one drink after work and opt to leave my car in Tweedbank, it is a very high cost to get home. An off peak return train to Edinburgh is under £12 and the taxi for the ten minute ride from Tweedbank to St Boswell’s is just under £20 in unsocial taxi hours. That just doesn’t make sense that the 10 minute ride is more than the return to Edinburgh.”

Operators and members of the public can have their say at www.scotborders.gov.uk/taxifarereview