May 9, 2022 5.00 pm This story is over 24 months old

Second rise in East Lindsey taxi fares in a year as fuel and living costs spike

Drivers finding some fares “challenging”

Taxi fares in East Lindsey are set to rise for the second time in a year against a backdrop of the Ukraine conflict, rising fuel prices and the general cost of living.

Members of the authority’s General Licensing Committee on Monday voted in favour of allowing taxi companies to charge £4 for the first 1,000 yards (up from £3.40), an extra 25p on call-out charges for a total of 75p per mile and for taxis to charge 50p per passenger above two (previously passengers three and four were 25p).

It followed a request from the Skegness Taxi Association, backed by a driver from Louth and one from Alford.

In a letter to ELDC, chairman Darrell Blackburn said: “Due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine everything has gone up in price for everybody so therefore we feel that it’s only fair for us to increase our fees, so we can simply try to keep up with current prices.

“Our service costs are constantly going up, along with gas and electricity prices and we must therefore increase our charges to allow for these increases.

“We understand any increase in tariff is not welcomed by the public, neither is the cost of gas and electricity, but we still have to accept them.”

Council officer Adrian Twiddy told members that last time charges increased in September 2021 inflation was at 3% – it is now 7%.

He said the price of fuel had “risen considerable, particularly in February and March” and that he had “no alarm bells” over the majority of price rises.

He later added firms were finding it “challenging” to do long-distance runs.

Councillors were concerned about how the rises would impact hospital runs, with Councillor Sarea Parkin saying the call-out charge increase might be a “step to far”.

She said: “A lot of people don’t have a choice other than taxi service at times.

“We’ve to to balance out the price and the needs of some of our residents.”

Councillor Andrew Leonard said: “We’ve got to be realistic… the costs that go along with running a vehicle are adding up and nothing comes for cheap anymore – the world has changed.”

He later told the committee: “All too often this committee talks about taxi drivers as though they’re offering a public service, well they are but they’re in business to offer that service.

“They’re not paid by the state, local government, or otherwise. It’s got to be viable proposition for them otherwise there’ll be even less taxis in Mablethorpe or anywhere else.

“If you keep stifling them all the time there will be less and less and they’ll just hand the badges back and say why bother?”

Councillors, however, rejected a request to allow taxi drivers to charge time-and-a-half on Sundays (with a seperate vote rejecting allowing it on Easter Sunday alone).

Councillor Graham Cullen said: “If any of my staff have to come to work on a Sunday and ask for time and a half pay – no way.”

They rejected an initial call to raise the call-out charge to £1, settling for 75p as middle ground.