TAXI fares in one East Lancashire borough look set to be increased tonight at a council meeting.

The Licensing Committee at Burnley Borough Council is due to meet at 6.30pm to discuss a number of issues, including a review of the Hackney Carriage table of fares.

At the meeting, councillors will consider a request from the Hackney trade to increase the Hackney Carriage Table of Fares.

The proposed increase for Tariff 1 & 2 has the support of Hackney Carriage trade representatives and working Hackney Carriage drivers licensed by Burnley Borough Council.

The committee is being recommended to increase fares, which will see a 50p increase to the minimum fare for Hackney Carriages. Private hire firms are not affected by the proposals.

Taxi fares in Burnley have not been reviewed since 2006, in which time expenses have increased considerably; in May 2022 Burnley had the fourth cheapest fares in the country.

Hackney Carriage representatives proposed a fare increase late last year following rising petrol prices, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, vehicle maintenance, and the general rise in the cost of living.

The proposals would see the ‘flag rate’ – the minimum charge for a ride covering the first three-quarters of a mile or four minutes – go up by 50p.

For Tariff 1 (6am to midnight) it would rise from £2.50 to £3, while for Tariff 2 (midnight to 6am and certain bank holidays) it would go up from £3 to £3.50.

Tariff 3, (6pm on Christmas Eve to 6am on December 27 and 6pm on New Year's Eve to 6am on January 2) would remain unchanged, with a starting rate of £5.

The discretionary £1 abnormal load charge and max £50 cleaning and loss of income fee if a car is soiled would remain unchanged.

Taxi drivers said they didn’t want a “significant increase” as they fear it “would result in the general public being discouraged from using hackney carriages due to the increased cost and render hackney carriage drivers unable to compete with the private hire trade”.

Even with the rise, Burnley would remain in the top 20 cheapest areas for taxi rides.

The Licensing Committee of 15 councillors will make a decision on fare increases at this evening’s public meeting being held at Burnley Town Hall.