Hackney taxi fares in Sefton could rise by between 8% and 18% this autumn.
Drivers are also keen to see the more expensive Tariff 2 fares come into force earlier during weekends (Friday and Saturday evenings), starting at 9am rather than 11pm.
The request to Sefton Council has been made due to rising fuel prices, rising inflation, increased running and insurance costs, and significant driver shortages, as workers look to cope with the increased cost of living.
The number of Hackney Carriage drivers in Sefton has fallen from 324 to 240 in the past three years.
If the recommendations are approved, they will come into force this October (2023).
Examples of the rises would include, for travelling one mile:
Tariff 1 – £4.20 to £4.70 (50p, 12%)
Tariff 2 – £5.25 to £5.85 (60p, 11%)
Tariff 3 – £6.30 to £6.80 (50p, 8%).
In his report to councillors, Sefton Council Assistant Director of Place (Highways and Public Protection) Peter Moore said: “The last tariff increase was introduced on 8 December 2021. Fuel prices, inflation/increased running and insurance costs and significant driver shortages have led to this request. 1.3 The Council currently licence 271 Hackney Carriage vehicles with 240 Hackney Carriage drivers compared to 324 drivers in October 2020.
“The trade representatives have indicated that the requested rise is intended to offset the increases in the general cost of living over the last two years and is an attempt to ensure driver’s net earnings do not fall below previous levels in real terms. Increases to local private hire fares may have also led to a loss of drivers.
“All waiting time charges are set at 25p per 60 seconds.
“The trade has also requested that tariff 2 be applied during weekends (Fridays & Saturday evenings) from the earlier time of 9pm instead of 11pm.
“This is to encourage drivers to better service the later times surrounding the night-time economy by increased usage of the current Hackney Carriage fleet at the weekends.
“This will also help owner drivers service and maintain and renew the current fleet of vehicles.
“It is also proposed to change the distance meter ‘drops’ that add either 20p, 25p or 30p during a journey.
“Currently, initial hire covers the first 242.8 yards, then every 209.72 yards up until reaching 1710.84 yards then every 225.25 thereafter (one mile is 1760 yards). It is proposed to change the initial hire distance to 200 yards then every 180 yards up until 1830 yards then every 200 yards thereafter.
“It is hoped the revised tariffs will maintain the current number of vehicles available as well as retaining and attracting new drivers and owners.”
If the recommendations are agreed, and no objections are received, the new fares would come into place from 1st October 2023.