FENLANDER: Dart Taxis of March installs meters to reassure customers they’re not overcharged

A TAXI firm in March has installed meters in all its cabs in a move designed to reassure customers that they are not being overcharged.

Dart Taxis has spent �5,500 equipping its 18 taxis with the meters, which have all been set up to display the correct fares for journeys.

The company’s initiative has won the support of Fenland District Council, the licensing authority, which describes it as “a sensible measure” that is in the best interests of drivers and customers.

Mark Holland, who runs Dart, described the move as “a leap of faith” that was worth the expense of installation and said he hoped others would follow suit. “Some taxi drivers are definitely charging a lot too much at the moment,” he said. “This is the way to go to assure the public they are not being ripped off.”

He added that some drivers from other companies in March and Wisbech had expressed interest in having similar meters installed.

The correct charges are set out in Fenland District Council’s tariff card, which has remained unchanged since 2008. Councillor Kit Owen, chairman of FDC’s Licensing Committee, said: “We welcome this move by Dart. We have worked with them to ensure that the meters are calibrated with the correct charges and their installation hasn’t cost the council anything.

“We believe this is a sensible measure, making all the charges clear to customers and reassuring them that there is no question of them being overcharged. It also protects the taxi drivers themselves against people claiming wrongly – and often aggressively - that they have been cheated.

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“While the law does not dictate that taxis must have meters, they are normal practice in most parts of the country.

“If there are special circumstances where drivers feel they can charge the customer less than the tariff shown on the meter, they are free to do so. But they cannot charge more.”

Dart will not be putting the meters into operation until the new year to allow customers to get used to the idea.

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