Hike in taxi fares could ‘cause conflict’ on York race days, driver fears
Taxi fare increases in York are set to be agreed – but one driver warns plans to raise the starting fare to £6 on race days may cause conflict.
City of York Council is planning to increase hackney carriage fares.
The city has a special higher tariff for race days, which covers journeys to and from York Racecourse, which would rise from a £5.80 to a £6 starting fee. It means racegoers would be charged £6 as soon as they step into the taxi, plus the additional fare calculated for the rest of their trip.
But a taxi driver has warned the council that the steep fee could anger passengers on their way to and from the racecourse who are “often fuelled by alcohol” and it may cause them to quarrel with drivers.
They write: “This is a very high starting rate which quite often starts a journey off with conflict.
“Many passengers, local and from other cities, cannot believe such a high starting rate. These conflicts can be even worse coming from the racecourse when passengers are quite often fuelled with alcohol.”
‘Why a race day tariff?’
They ask why York has dedicated higher fee on race days when many other cities with large venues do not have pricier tariffs. They suggest it is abolished and replaced with the night time tariff, which is more expensive than the standard fare but not as costly as the race day rate.
“Why do we have a race day tariff?” they say.
“I have looked at other city’s fare charts that have much larger venues [such as] Manchester [and] Leeds, which have huge stadiums and they don’t have a stadium rate on a match day.
“Also if we had tariff 2 on all day it would stop the exodus of taxis racing up to the racecourse early afternoon in the hope of making a quick buck, leaving the city centre rams undermanned and frustrated loyal regular customers often waiting ages for a cab.”
Councillors will decide whether to make any changes to the proposed fare increases at a meeting on Tuesday, with the new tariffs due to launch on September 1.
The fees have been proposed by the Hackney Carriage Associations and it is the first time they have increased since June 2018.
Rates for all hackney carriage journeys are set to rise. Hackney carriages can use taxi ranks to wait for a fare and be hailed by customers on the street, whereas private hire vehicles cannot use taxi ranks and journeys need to be booked through a licenced operator.