Fenland taxi fares described as “outrageous” after pensioner charged £56 for supermarket trip


Taxis. - Credit: Archant

A MANEA woman has described Fenland taxi fares as “outrageous” after discovering that her elderly neighbour was charged £56 for a return trip to the Tesco store in March.

Sue Rutterford says the pensioner felt she had been robbed after shelling out the cash for a Sunday shopping trip, and her neighbour has vowed never to use taxis again.

“She felt robbed and blamed herself for not confirming what the charge would be,” said Sue, who lives in Station Road. “I made an enquiry to the taxi company for the same journey and I was told a price of £29 each way, a total of £58.

“How on earth can taxi drivers make out they are so hard done by? Fenland needs to make sure they are looking after the vulnerable elderly so they are not paying over the top for transport.”

Sue added: “I think my neighbour felt silly because she had not confirmed the price beforehand, and so we felt obliged to pay the fare after she had made the journey and did not feel like haggling.

“At first I thought the taxi company had tried it on because she was a frail and vulnerable lady, or she had got in wrong. But when I gave the same taxi company a call and was told a similar fare, I was astonished.

“I know the price of diesel is increasing, and I realise the journey was made on a Sunday, but the fare charged was outrageous. Taxi drivers are complaining that no one is using them, but it is not surprising, when you see the fares they are charging. It is impossible for someone on a pension to pay these high fares.”

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Dave Humphrey, spokesman for March taxi drivers, said : “The rates we are charging are below average for the country. Sunday taxi fares carry a 50 per cent premium above normal fares.

“That means the first mile is charged at £4.90 and every other mile is charged at £3. Taxi drivers felt that the last fare increase imposed by Fenland District Council, increasing the weekday fare to £2 a mile, was reckless and irresponsible and March taxi drivers did not ask for it.”

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