ISLANDERS will be consulted ahead of a 'significant rise' in taxi fees.

The Isle of Wight Council's licensing committee yesterday (Monday) voted overwhelmingly in favour of a hike in taxi fees which would see a two-mile journey, charged on the lowest tariff, increase by £1.10.

It follows consultation with the Island's taxi trade who supported a fee increase due to rising running fuel, service charges and insurance.

Chair of the committee, Cllr Daryll Pitcher, said there were legitimate reasons to increase the fees and this was just the beginning of a complicated process.

Not all members were in favour, with Cllr Gary Peace saying the taxi charges on the Island were already ridiculously high.

He suggested, much like other businesses during the Covid pandemic including his own, drivers absorb the added costs.

If prices did have to rise, Cllr Peace said, they should be in line with inflation which would be a much simpler way of determining an increase and would probably have more support from the public.

Concerns had previously been raised by officers that it would be unlikely the public would support the 'significant increase' proposed.

Following the approval, a minimum 14-day consultation will start once a public notice is published in local newspapers and on the council's website.

If no objections are lodged, the new fees will begin on May 1.

However, if valid objections are submitted, the start date will be pushed back and the issue could come back before the licensing committee.

What are the changes?

  • The initial 'flag drop', or hire fee also covering the first half a mile of the journey increases by 50p
  • Each quarter mile, after the flag drop, increases between 10p and 50p depending on the tariff
  • Waiting time during a trip increases between 20p and 70p a minute.
  • Sundays would be charged at the same rate as bank and public holidays becoming more expensive, moving into tariff two
  • The cost for transporting animals doubles from 50p to £1 per animal
  • Soiling charge increases to £100, from £70

According to the draft table of fees, tariff hours are also set to change, pending approval, meaning travel will cost more from 8pm through to 6am. The higher tariff used to start at 10pm.

The fares set are the maximum amount drivers can charge, so some companies could charge less.

See the difference in tables of fees here: (the current fees top, with the proposed changes underneath)

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press: