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Taxi fares to rise for Forest Heath passengers

Changes to Hackney Carriage tariffs in West Suffolk are set to be approved this week, with a price hike of 60p upwards for Forest Heath passengers.

A review of fares first began at St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils in April last year, to align them ahead of the two councils merging into West Suffolk Council this year.

The first stage was completed in June which aligned fares without the need for an increase.

West Suffolk Councils.
West Suffolk Councils.

On Tuesday, January 29, the West Suffolk informal licensing and regulatory committee will agree the final proposals following the last public consultation, with the new fares to be introduced from February 18.

For Forest Heath passengers, the initial start of the journey will go up from £3.20 to £3.80 for the first mile, which has risen from two-thirds of a mile, with fares costing an additional 3p per mile after that.

Fares for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day will rise by £2.10 for the first mile.

Councillor Lance Stanbury, Forest Heath’s portfolio holder for planning and growth said: “We are committed to improving simplicity and affordability for customers while ensuring fairness for taxi drivers and proprietors.

“Forest Heath Hackney drivers have not had a fare increase since 2014, something that has been taken into account in the proposals, which mainly affect the starting prices Forest Heath customers would pay.”

But for those in St Edmundsbury, the changes mean fares are more in line with what customers were paying in 2015.

Standard day fares remain the same initial cost with a small rise by 3p per mile, while 12am-6am journeys drop by 10p for the first mile but rise by 36p per mile after.

Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day first-mile fares will drop from £8.40 to £7.60.

Councillor Susan Glossop, portfolio holder for planning and growth at St Edmundsbury, said: “The proposals support our aims of affordability and take St Edmundsbury drivers back more or less to 2015 prices.”

A joint statement from the pair added: “The aim of the Hackney fare review was to keep affordability and avoid a negative impact on the trade, which we believe has been achieved through the rounds of consultation and subsequent adjustments to proposals that will be considered by our licensing and regulatory committees.”