Councillors take steps on taxi fares to help Falkirk cabbies recover after pandemic

Falkirk councillors will not recommend any increase in taxi fares this year in a bid to help the struggling trade recover from the devastation of the pandemic.

A meeting of the council's executive on Tuesday heard that the taxi trade had been one of the worst affected by the Coronavirus crisis - and many drivers feared that increased prices would chase even more customers away.

Although the trade has been supported by grants from the Scottish Government, not all drivers and operators benefited and last year some could not afford to renew their licences.

At a meeting in March, Falkirk Council consulted with members of the Taxi Forum and heard they were not in favour of any increase in the taxi tariff currently.

Councillors have decided to hold fares in a bid to help struggling cabbies
Councillors have decided to hold fares in a bid to help struggling cabbies

Over lockdown, licensing officers - working remotely from home - were unable to deal with licence holders in the traditional way so began to increase the number of email addresses they hold.

That meant that for the review, they could also email around 200 taxi operators to canvas their opinions and the picture here was more mixed.

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From 11 responses that were received, six were against an increase and five were for.

The decision also took into account costs such as the price of fuel and insurance.

It found there had been very little change in petrol or diesel prices and insurance was cheaper.

The council now has to advertise its decision in final consultation and take note of any responses before the new tariff is finally approved to come into effect in October.

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