Association of Trafford Taxi Drivers

2017 Fare Increase

Suggestions by Phil Jordan of the TTODA with regards a fare increase, sent by e-mail to Trafford Licensing, meant to be a starting point and not a final solution to a future fare increase

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These observations and suggestions follow my input at the recent Taxi Trade Discussion Group, with regard to the fare review.

 

Hackney Carriage fares in Trafford have been unchanged for just over four years, while the minimum fare of £2.00 has been in force for over nine years.

The formula used in connection with fare reviews had served us well for around fifteen years, but is no longer available. The time has, in any event, come to review the mechanism, which had been skewed by "progress".

The formula took into account a number of variables such as fuel, insurance, fees, vehicle cost, lending rates, and maintenance costs.

However, when it was initially set up, it included a certain amount of fixed data. 

The average journey was set at two miles, and that is still accurate, but the average speed and time taken to complete that journey has altered considerably. This is due to a combination of increased traffic, additional traffic lights and mini roundabouts, sleeping policemen and chicanes, and the generally poor state of many roads.

The average waiting time between fares has increased considerably, for a number of reasons set out below.

The ratio of private hire to hackney was probably 3.5:1 until around 2006. At that point, the hackney fleet was increased by almost 40% (contrary to the recommendations of an unmet demand survey which suggested around 15%). 

Subsequently we have suffered considerably from "out of town" vehicles swelling the private hire fleets (and illegally plying for hire), and whilst no accurate figure can be obtained, it is felt that the effective ratio is now more like 7:1.

The customer pool has not increased so significantly that we can sustain competition at such a high level.

The distance covered for £2.00 has fallen by almost 15% in the time that the minimum fare has been at that level. It is unrealistic to expect a driver who may have been waiting an hour for the next job to be so poorly rewarded. Manchester already have a minimum of £2.50, and it is widely felt that Trafford, Stockport, and Tameside Councils have failed to increase the minimum because they compare data  with each other. Minimum fares in the Midlands are generally in excess of £3.00 (examples : Kettering, Nuneaton & Bedworth) and this is not thought excessive by taxi users in those areas.

While requesting that a replacement formula be produced in due course, it is clear that an interim step needs to be considered, especially as Trafford meters need to be rechipped during 2017, and there is a cost involved. 

As a starting point, the minimum fare could perhaps be increased to £3.00 for a distance of 1471 yards (the current level travelled for £2.80), which represents an increase of approximately 7%. The yardage for each subsequent unit of distance could then be reduced to effect an approximate 5% increase (currently 164 yards, reduction to 156 yards). 

The cost of a 2 mile journey has only risen by 12.5% in the last nine years, which is not a significant increase in the context of other factors, especially driver earnings. The figures above would increase such a journey from £5.40 to £5.60.

This proposal has been discussed at the TTODA meeting on 28th February, and unanimously accepted in principle by those present.

Phil Jordan for TTODA

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N.B. we, the Association of Trafford Taxi Drivers, are against the £3.00 minimum fare

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