To consider the head of legal and democratic’s report.
Cabinet considered the head of legal and democratic’s report on a proposal to introduce maximum hackney carriage fares. The report set out the results of a consultation exercise on the proposals.
The report explained that in June 2021, the council had adopted a new joint taxi licensing policy with South Oxfordshire District Council. This included the intention to set a maximum tariff for journeys carried out by hackney carriages licensed within the Vale district. Journeys outside of the district would not be affected by the maximum fares.
The Cabinet member responsible for the licensing service reported that the aim of the policy was to protect the public, reduce the risk of fraudulent fares, and ensure consistency, whilst allowing for competition between taxi companies. The council must balance the needs of the local taxi trade with the need to protect the public. The council had to be mindful of the increasing cost of living. There had been increases in the charge for carrying more than four people on one journey, and for the soiling charge. The recommended tariff had taken these points into consideration and would be more in line with other councils. However, the maximum fares were not set in perpetuity; the Cabinet member recommended that the tariff was kept under review.
Other Cabinet members agreed and considered that the council should adopt the maximum fare tariff as set out in Appendix C to the report. These were uncertain economic times and the tariff proposed should be reviewed regularly. In doing so, officers were asked to find a method of consulting the public and taxi users. Officers were also asked to work with the South and Vale Taxi Drivers’ Association as part of the review. The review should be undertaken as soon as practicable.
(a) note the results of the consultation at Appendix B to the head of legal and democratic’s report to Cabinet on 30 September 2022;
(b) adopt the proposed maximum hackney carriage fares at Appendix C with effect from 1 October 2022; and
(c) agree to review the hackney carriages fares as soon as practicable.