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West Suffolk taxi fares could increase but drivers left with concerns





Taxi fares in a Suffolk district could go up but some drivers have still been left with concerns.

The proposed changes were discussed and approved for consultation on Monday evening by members of West Suffolk Council’s licensing and regulatory committee.

If approved, they would see prices increase across the board for the first time since August 2022, with the initial mile costing 8 per cent more.

West Suffolk Council HQ, Bury St Edmunds
West Suffolk Council HQ, Bury St Edmunds

Although drivers have welcomed the increase, they have raised concerns over the initial price being too high.

Mark Goodchild, a driver who spoke at the meeting, said: “You will have many customers accusing you of ripping them off; you’re going to have arguments before you’ve even left the rank.”

The new fares would see trips under a mile go for the initial price of £5.40 between 6am and midnight (tariff one), £8.10 between midnight and 6am (tariff two), and £10.80 for the whole day during Christmas and New Year.

Tariffs four, five, and six, which relate to trips where there are five or more passengers during the same time periods, would also see similar increases.

Initially, trade suggestions were made to hike the initial one-mile tariff by a lower amount and increase it by a higher rate per subsequent mile.

After the meeting, several drivers said the changes would not only present a smaller increase than they had hoped for but also an increased safety risk, particularly during nightly shifts.

After the meeting, one driver said: “Some people will only see the initial price and be mad even if it then doesn’t go up that much after — there have even been drivers who were held at knifepoint.”

A consultation on the changes is set to start on February 5 and run until February 26, with meters to be updated from March should it be approved.