Agenda item

Proposed hackney carriage fare tariff review


It was agreed to re-order the agenda and consider this item first as the public speaker had addressed this issue.


The Licensing Manager presented the report which asked the Committee to consider authorising a full review of both East Devon District Council’s hackney carriage table of fares and the procedure used by the Council to calculate and set the table of fares.


The report outlined the next steps to be taken were a full fare review agreed and included a proposal to carry out a fact-finding survey of the East Devon taxi trade to assist with outlining a set procedure for calculating the cost of running a taxi in the district and determining an appropriate table of fares.


The Licensing Manager highlighted the following points:

·         The most recent review had been carried out in 2022 and the current fare tariff had come into effect from December 2022.

·         EDDC has received several requests from the taxi trade asking that consideration be given to a further fare rise.

·         The Licensing Manager and Licensing Officer had attended the East Devon Taxi Association meeting on 12 December 2023 where taxi fares had been discussed as well as the cost of living, the increase in national minimum wage from 1 April 2024 and the increased costs of running a taxi.  A further meeting had also been attended on 27 February 2024.

·         Best Practice Guidance also referred to the needs of the travelling public with reference to what is reasonable to expect the public to pay, and to the need for taxi drivers to earn a sufficient income and to provide a service when it is needed.

·         Officers were recommending introducing the “Guildford Method” of calculating taxi fares for future fare increases.

·         The “Guildford Method” provides a methodology, fare calculator and fare table template which takes into account the costs of running a licensed vehicle including an average salary over time for the driver.

·         If this method were to be adopted by EDDC, Officers recommended undertaking a full fact finding survey to ascertain the costs of running a taxi in the district.

·         If the recommendations in the report were agreed, a further report would be brought to the 17 July meeting of the Committee.


It was noted that if the Committee agrees to adopt the recommendations in the report and a further report is brought to the July meeting, the legislation provides for a 14 day advert with regard to a proposed fare increase.  If no representations are received during the advert period, the revised fare tariff comes into effect.  If representations are received, a further report would have to be brought to the Committee. 


Discussion and questions included the following points:

·         It was considered that a fare increase should be discussed by the Committee much sooner than July.

·         If the current method of calculating fare increases is used in the interim, a report could be brought to the Committee meeting of 8 May and, following the statutory 14 day advert, with no representations, a fare increase would come into effect by the end of May.

·         It was noted that the decision to increase the fare tariff can be made by the Committee.

·         Concern was expressed that taxi services should be kept as they are vital in a rural area with a poor bus service and a high proportion of older residents.

·         It was noted that there is a small decline in the number of licensed taxi drivers in recent years.

·         The Committee could consider an increase calculated using current methods as an interim measure, and then consider implementing the “Guildford Method” for future years.


In response to the last point, the Licensing Manager advised that, should the “Guildford Method” be introduced, fares would be reviewed annually and so remove the need to review on an ad hoc basis every few years.


The Licensing Officer advised that it was proposed to launch a survey around the start of April on the costs of running a taxi in East Devon for completion by hackney carriage drivers and proprietors.  The results of the survey would inform the introduction and use of the “Guildford Method” should this be agreed.




That a report be brought back to the Committee meeting on 8 May 2024 using the current method of calculating hackney carriage fare tariffs and increases and that a further report be brought to a future meeting of the Committee regarding the introduction of the “Guildford Method” in 2025.



The Chair thanked the members of the public for attending the meeting and for their contribution.



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