Rothesay taxi drivers ‘back fare increase’ - report

Some of Rothesay's taxi drivers at the rank in the town's Albert Place.
Some of Rothesay's taxi drivers at the rank in the town's Albert Place.

Rothesay’s taxi operators - or some of them, at least - want to see an increase in the fares set by Argyll and Bute Council, according to a new report.

The authority’s planning, protective services and licensing committee (PPSL) will review the current fares structure at a meeting in Lochgilphead this week - and a report prepared in advance of the meeting says that some of Rothesay’s taxi operators would support an increase in fares.

The review is taking place after PPSL members decided last March to keep fares at their then-current levels, but to revisit the economic situation early in 2013.

The report states that six Rothesay taxi operators attended a consultation meeting to discuss whether fare scales should be increased.

“One operator from Rothesay is suggesting a 20p increase per flagfall per annum,” the report states, “as it is unfair that taxi operators have to continually absorb fuel price increases.

“Another operator from Rothesay is suggesting an increase from 20p to 25p for each 5th of a mile on basis cost of fuel, insurance, maintenance and tyres rises every year.

“A third operator feels it is necessary to increase the fares by a small amount every year to 18 months due to rising cost of fuel, licence and expenses.

“Operators who attended the consultation meeting indicated they would prefer to see a zone approach if that made it more likely that proposals would be shaped for each of the four areas.”

Taxi operators in other parts of Argyll and Bute gave varying views, with those in Dunoon, Oban and mid Argyll favouring changes which would result in fares going up, while those in Campbeltown and Helensburgh favoured no change to the current scales, fearing any increases would have an adverse effect on business.

The standard tariff for taxi fares in Argyll and Bute is currently set at £2.70, with higher tariffs of £3.20 and £3.70 for journeys at certain times over Christmas and New Year.

Yardage distances are currently based on an initial charge for the first 860 yards of a journey, and a subsequent charge of 20p for each additional two hundred yards.

Charges for soiling, waiting and telephone bookings are currently set at £100, 30p per minute and 30p respectively.

The PPSL’s decision last March not to increase fare scales was challenged in an appeal to the Scottish Traffic Commissioner, but following a hearing on June 13 the Commissioner confirmed the fees fixed by the authority.