Taxi fares to go up in Welwyn Hatfield for first time in 12 years

Taxis fares are set to go up on December 1 in Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: Pexels

Taxis fares are set to go up on December 1 in Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: Pexels - Credit: Archant

Taxi fares are set to go up in price in Welwyn Hatfield for the first time since 2008 following a vote at a full council meeting on Thursday night.

The new fares will potentially come in place on December 1, but could be introduced later if there are objections from the public to allow for a hearing.

The fare statistics show that the current WHBC’s taxi fares rank 244 out of 363 authorities in England, the new fares move that position up to around 28.

The current fares are £2.50 for the first 900 yards (825 meters) and then 20p for every subsequent 170 yards (155 metres) or part thereof.

The new fares are £3 for the first 525 yards (480 metres) and 20p for every subsequent 150 yards (137 metres) or part thereof.

This means if you currently travelled two kilometres in a taxi it would cost you £4.10, but if you travel 2km in a taxi on December 1 it will cost you £5.40.

There were no rises in extra charges, for example hiring a taxi in between 11pm and 7am will still see a 50 per cent increase on usual rates.

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Hertfordshire Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Malcolm Cowan asked for the report to be taken back and be looked at by a member group and that taxi fares should be reviewed every two years, but both of these motions were voted down.

He described the jump in rates from 244th nationally to eighth as “a hell of a leap” and that he “would prefer to see us somewhere in the middle”.

Responding to Cllr Cowan executive member for governance, public health and climate change cllr Fiona Thomson said: “Councils are periodically reviewing their fares so if it was approved tonight and adopted on December 1 we may be high up the ranking, that’s not to say 20 councils may not instigate a review of their fares the next day.

“Within Hertfordshire we know that the majority of the councils have reviewed theirs within the last seven years, of course that may mean they might be looking to review their fares again.”

There was also discussion about the lack of an equality impact assessment in the report, but Cllr Thomson gave a summary of the report’s findings: “There maybe a financial impact on those with a lower income due to age or state pensions only. With regard to disability there may be an impact on those with long term disabilities who may use taxi services more regularly.”