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Taxi drivers are furious with Harrogate Council AGAIN

Taxi rank in Harrogate

Published by Lizzy McEllan at 2:46pm 16th November 2018.

Taxi drivers in Harrogate are hitting back at the council after proposals to increase licensing fees by ten per cent.

  • Cabbies will have to pay 10 per cent more for a license to operate in the Harrogate area
  • It's after the council agreed a lower fare rise than drivers requested
  • A license fee is £289 - drivers will have to pay an extra £28.90 a year
  • The council says the fees haven't increased since 2015 and don't make a profit

Licensing fees have to be paid by cabbies, which pay for plates and allow them to operate in the area.

Ripon-based taxi driver, Richard Fieldman, says the money will come straight out of drivers' wages.

He said:

"Standards of taxis don't change, so this money is coming out of the drivers' wage.

"In effect, we're taking home less income, to be able to keep up with what Harrogate Council are charging us."

The rise in fees comes shortly after the council agreed to increase fares by 3 per cent. Drivers claim this rate should have been calculated as a 4.7 per cent - meaning they have lost out on more money.

Signs outside Harrogate's taxi rank

Mr Fieldman added:  

"The council were quick to put it out there that we were greedy taxi drivers looking for a huge tariff increase, but keep it secretly quiet that they want a ten per cent increase in our licensing fees.

"Let's play fair. Let us give the good standard of service that's out there and allow us to earn the money that we should be earning."

The current fee for licensing, which pays for car plates and an operating license, is £289 a year.

Under the new proposals, drivers will have to pay an extra £28.90.

Harrogate Borough Council says the fees are not designed to make a profit.

Councillor Stuart Martin, chairman of the licensing committee, said:

“We appreciate that this proposed increased appears quite significant but the fees have remained unchanged since 2015 and are comparable with other local authorities.

“These costs, that are not designed to make a profit, also allow us to provide the administration of vehicle and operators’ licences, carry out inspections of vehicles, maintain hackney carriage stands as well as the enforcement of the licences.”

The recommended increase will now require a 28-day public consultation. Any objections will be presented to the licensing committee at its next meeting.

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