Taxi Fares Spark Controversy

April 21, 2012

While many cab owners around the UK argue for fare increases, taxi businesses in Congleton are in uproar after Cheshire East Council have revealed plans to increase fares by a whopping 45%.

The proposed plans are to bring Congleton charges in line with those in Crewe and Nantwich. This will enforce a fixed starting fee of £4.20 which will allow the customer to travel one mile and each mile thereafter will be charged at £2.00.

Owner of taxi operator Mytax, Darren Carter, has only had his firm for 11 weeks and now fears the proposed changes will put a major stress on his business.

The 43 year old cabbie said: “Everybody wants more money but we also want more customers.

“If the fares are increased, taxi companies throughout the town are going to lose customers.  People will start making less trips to the shops because they can’t afford the fares.

“A lot of people are elderly or disabled and the only way they can get out and about is by taxi. It isn’t seen as a luxury any more.”

Mr Carter has been taxiing for the past two years and has never seen such a giant increase that will most definitely not go un-noticed by his customers.

Meter Watching

He added: “Already I have noticed people watching the meter, so when I tell them that they are now going to have to start paying over £4 for a two minute ride they’ll simply not do it.

“It will devastate not only my business but the town too because people won’t shop as often and will spend less when they do.”

Taxi drivers in the area have started a petition against the proposal and in the hope that Cheshire East Council listen to them.

Co-owner of AJ Taxis, Geoff Cope, said: “A lot of us have signed a petition against these changes.

“Trying to implement price increases in an economy like this is commercial suicide.

“It’s absolute madness. People have no money and many of us are struggling to make ends meet. If the fares are increased I am going to have to tell my customers that a trip which used to cost them £2 is now over £3. People will not stand for it and I don’t want to see this happen.”

A spokesman for Cheshire East Council commented: “Two petitions totalling 201 signatures have been received and it is evident that although there is an agreement within the objections that harmonisation is a positive step, merging the zones to the Crewe and Nantwich tariff may not be an equitable way to obtain this result.”

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