Taxi firm says Fenland is one of the country’s cheapest spots for taxis - but it hopes that can change

FENLAND has some of the cheapest taxi fares in the country and it’s time that changed, says a report to the district council calling for a rise.

According to figures produced for Friday’s licensing committee the fares charged locally show that Fenland is 356th out of 363 councils for having the cheapest fares.

Fenland Taxis say a two mile journey, for instance, in Kettering costs �6, in Boston �5.20, in Breckland �5.14 and in Wisbech, March, Chatteris or Whittlesey �4.24.

The firm has asked the licensing committee to consider a new maximum fare to meet rising costs such as fuel, insurance, servicing and licensing fees.

The company also says drivers are being faced with costs of �250 to fit new meters into their cabs following a ruling last year by the council.

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Fenland Taxis say they want fees rounded up so that the new meters can deal with fares once the meters are fitted.

Kim Winterton, licensing regulatory officer, will tell councillors the current fare structure was set on April 25 last year and showed an increase over the previous tariff of 5.462 per cent.

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“It is at the discretion of the council to set a meter tariff for licensed hackney carriages operating within the district if it chooses to do so,” she says.

“Councils are not obliged to set a maximum fare for their area, they could decide instead to rely on market forces to establish the going rate and at the same promote competition.

“In the past Fenland District Council has chosen to set a tariff.”

Ms Winterton says if the council agrees to an increase it will mean setting the maximum tariff and drivers are free to charge less if they want. Private hire vehicles remain exempt.

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