Don't kill off the Adur taxi trade
I refer to your column in the Herald (March 10) entitled, '˜Fare freeze justified, or a dud deal for drivers?'.
Firstly, the fares in Adur are not currently cheap in comparison either nationally or with all other areas in Sussex. You quote correctly the last rise being in 2008. What you didn’t say was that Adur at the time (2008) had the dearest taxi fares in the whole of the UK!
Meanwhile, back to today and Adur still have the third dearest taxi fares in Sussex and that’s before any increase!
The proposed increase would have made Adur the third dearest taxi fares in the UK.
Can you justify that, given the absence of reasonable pay rises elsewhere?
You make reference to “Mrs Miggins”. Well, to correctly document your example, if Mrs Miggins took her £10 taxi ride to Bingo, it would as you correctly state, have increased (under the proposed fares) by £1 to £11, but she would need to get home again, so the increase would be £1 each way and yearly would be £2 x 52 weeks = £104.
Or if her fare was £5 then the increase (under the proposed fares) would have risen 80p to £5.80 or £1.60 on the return fares (£1.60x52 = £83.20).
The real question here is – when was Mrs Miggins’ pension last increased by circa £80 - £100 per year?
Your reference to council tax is fallacious at best as it’s a mandatory charge payable by all!
A charge that attracts Government assistance in paying for those on reduced incomes, pensioners etc. Taxis are not mandatory, yet arguably essential to people like your Mrs Miggins in the absence of public transport particularly at night.
The Government offers no assistance to pay taxi fares, so Mrs Miggins would merely cease to be able to go to Bingo, travel and use taxis.
Who are the losers here? Yes, Mrs Miggins (and other cash strapped individuals on a finite income) and the taxi trade!
Hiking taxi fares is all good stuff, but remember – taxi drivers won’t make any more money if they have no customers! Disproportionately increasing taxi fares will lead to nothing more than no taxis locally through bankruptcy.
To this end and all things considered, can you or any reasonably minded individual come to any other conclusion than that the councillors in Adur were right to reject (and they did so by a margin of 5-1) a bid from some members of the Adur taxi trade for greed driven commercial suicide.
If only to protect the residents of Adur from unwarranted disproportionate increases in their taxi fares or in fact actually to protect some local taxi drivers from themselves!
Adur Taxi Driver
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