Agenda item

Hackney Carriage Fare Review 2023

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Brookes)


Report of Director for Communities & the Environment


(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Brookes)


Cabinet received a report from the Licensing Manager which sought Cabinet approval of the recommendations from the Licensing Committee to set a new Hackney Carriage fare tariff. Councillor Hartley, the Chair of the Licensing Committee was invited to address the meeting with regard to the Licensing Committee’s proposals.


The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:



Option 1: Maintain current table of fares approved in April 2022.

Option 2: Apply retail price index (RPI) across the tariff. (14%) Rounding down to the nearest 5p.

Option 3: Deregulate fare setting.

Option 4: Increase flag[1]fall by 7% Increase rolling rate by 10% by reducing the increment from 176yds to 160yds.


Public are aware of expected fares when hiring a hackney carriage.

Drivers’ income is increased in line with rising cost of living.


This was identified as the preferred methodology to the trade through consultation.


The licensed profession may be perceived as a career option for local people.

Allows licensed trade to calculate their own fares, they may be best placed to calculate costs.

The uplift is consistently applied across the tariff, not disadvantaging service user groups. e.g., those on long/short journeys.


The current table of fares may not

represent current cost of living.



Second increase in quick

succession may lead to a decrease in public use.

Licensing Authority has no control on

charges passed to the public.


May create confusion as fares could vary across the trade.

The changes across the tariff and amending

incremental charges may cause public confusion, leading to an increase in complaints.


Not consistently applying the methodology approved by Cabinet and supported by the trade.


Drivers may decide to leave the trade, fares do not meet the demands of the rising costs of living.


Increase too much for service users. Drivers may see reduced income due to lack of public use.

Lack of public confidence in use of Hackney Carriages due to unknown charges.


Varying charges between proprietors creating confusion .

Not consistently applying the methodology approved by Cabinet and supported by the licensed trade.


Fares will increase earlier in journeys; regular users of taxis may feel penalised by the uplift.


Option 4 is the preferred option of the Licensing Committee, as this is an executive decision, Licensing Committee are not the decision-making body so must refer their recommendation to Cabinet for approval.


Earlier in 2022, following a period of consultation with the public and licensed trade, the Councils Cabinet, on recommendation of Licensing Committee agreed a methodology for fare reviews in relation to hackney carriages operating in the district.

The approved methodology has been applied to the relevant parts of the hackney carriage tariff, with a 14% increase to flag-fall and rolling rate (rounded down to the nearest 5p). It represents a 40/60/80p increase in flag fall across the 3 tariffs with little difference to rolling rates (until tariff 3 where a 5p increase would be applied).


An alternative option has been suggested and recommended to Cabinet for approval, recognising that rounded the rate of RPI down to the nearest 5p will have little or no impact on rolling rate, so by reducing the yardage on the rolling rate by 10% and applying 20p on flag fall (7% increase) allows for a hybrid approach. This option does not follow the approved methodology, financial services have been consulted on the impact on applying RPI for subsequent years if Cabinet are minded to deviate from the approved position now.


The cost of living is rising; licensed drivers need to ensure the profession is sustainable; whereby the table of fares allows drivers to earn a fair salary. Cabinet will need to balance the views of the licensed trade with expectations of the public and ensure that any decision to depart form the approved methodology is documented, along with the reasons for doing so.


Councillor Brookes proposed, seconded by Councillor Wood:-


“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved.”


Councillors then voted:-


Resolved unanimously:


(1)             That approval be given to the proposals of the Licensing Committee as follows:

·        an increase on the flag fall of 20p from £3.00 to £3.20 (7% increase)

·        that the rolling rate increases by 10% by reducing the increment from 176 yards to 160 yards per 20p.


(2)        That approval be given to the Licensing Manager to advertise the adjusted table of fares as required by Section 65 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.


Officer responsible for effecting the decision:


Licensing Manager


Reasons for making the decision:


It is a constitutional requirement that Lancaster City Council’s Cabinet approve the setting of fares for Hackney Carriages operating in the district.  In determining the charges for time/distance it must consider the impact on setting fares too low/too high on both the licensed trade and public who use Hackney Carriages, whilst balancing the rising cost of living and building a sustainable trade; one capable of earning a fair salary. The proposals are considered fair to taxi drivers and the travelling public.

Supporting documents: