Taxi fares in Blackpool are set to increase by an average of five per cent as part of a package of measures which it is also hoped will help attract more drivers to the trade.
Councillors agreed to a request from the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association (BLTOA) for changes which also include bringing forward the times when more expensive night time fares come into effect.
It means the average fare for a two mile journey before 9pm (tariff one) will increase to £6 from £5.80 which is in line with national averages.
Taxi fares rise is agreed
Late evening fares (tariff two) will kick in an hour earlier at 9pm instead of 10pm, while the early hours tariff (tariff three), which includes a 60p supplement on the fare, will start from midnight instead of 1am.
The effect of the overall changes, which were approved by the council’s public protection sub-committee, is an average increase is 5.29 per cent. The changes will now be advertised before being implemented.
A council report said higher late night fares were “payable to drivers for working anti-social hours” so the measure would “help ensure taxi availability”.
The report adds: “The taxi trade has reported a shortage of drivers recently particularly during the evening/night and it is hoped these measures will help to assist in bridging that gap.
“BLTOA has stated in their submission that there have been complaints that there are insufficient drivers late at night and in the early hours of the morning.
“Following informal discussions with private hire operators and BLTOA the licensing service would support those concerns.”
It was reported last month some taxi operators in the town had half the usual number of drivers available to work after 8pm on a Saturday night.
The lack of cabbies has been blamed on drivers finding alternative jobs during the Covid pandemic and not returning to the industry.