Rebel cabbie halts taxi fare rise

THOUSANDS of taxi drivers are missing out on a 3% fare rise after ONE cabbie objected to the increase.

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Stephen Flynn, vice chairman of Glasgow Taxis Ltd
Stephen Flynn, vice chairman of Glasgow Taxis Ltd

As reported by the Evening Times earlier this week, taxi fares in the city are to rise for the first time in two years.

However, taxi bosses have been left furious after one driver lodged an objection to the slight increase and triggered the appeals process.

But cab bosses say the ­increase could be delayed by weeks - or even months - ­because of the objection.

The new fare was set to come into force on Monday, February 17.

Stephen Flynn, vice-chairman of Glasgow Taxis Ltd, said: "We have a situation where around 2000 of our drivers were set to enjoy a very modest rise in their incomes for the first time in two years.

"Yet that could be delayed by weeks, maybe months, after what we are led to believe is an objection by one individual.

"The majority - a clear 99% - have accepted the increase.

"Where else in society would the views of such an overwhelming majority be blocked, albeit - we hope - only temporarily?

"Glasgow Taxis Ltd ­balloted all members and provided a reply to the ­licencing authority, as did other trade associations.

"For an absolute minority to halt this process beggars belief."

Licensing chiefs last week announced the increase in a bid to help ease the fuel burden on drivers.

But the city's main black cab firm say the 3.28% fare increase will come at a cost to members and drivers.

Taxi bosses said "meter modifications" will cost drivers £50.

Mr Flynn, added: "We are not saying the minority should not be listened to or their views not taken into account. But surely the ­authorities must question a situation that allows such a tiny minority to hold back the income of thousands?

"The legislation clearly allows for an individual to object.

"However, it is our belief that one individual is not the representative view of a substantial proportion of the operators of taxis within the licencing authority.

Councillors believe the revised tariffs offer a fairer deal for passengers.

But cab bosses previously hit out at six-month delay to the introduction of the fare increase.

The last fare increase was in 2012 when the tariff rose by 3.64%.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: "Taxi drivers have 14 days to appeal proposed tariff increases to the Traffic Commissioner.

"This appeals period is currently live.

"As the licensing authority, we will, of course, ­provide any information required by the commission."

rebecca.gray@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Automotive

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