Late night clubbers spared additional hackney rise increase

A rise in hackney fares in Liverpool will be introduced next week – but an additional hike in the cost of journeys in the early hours of Sunday morning has been dropped.

Of the 2,138 drivers in the city, only 38 (2%) submitted objections opposing varying aspects of the rise, which was requested by Liverpool Hackney Branch through UNITE the union.

UNITE asked for it on the grounds that it would encourage more cabs on to the road in the early hours, discourage the urge for to cherry pick fares and also enable drivers to invest in the new electric London EV taxi.

The increase being introduced from Monday (December 4) will see a 20p rise in the minimum fare for tariff one – the so-called day rate – to £2.60. This is still lower than the national average of £2.76 and, locally, below the fare charged in Wirral.

There will also be an increase in the night rate which applies from 11pm – 6am on Easter Sunday and bank holidays from £3.00 to £3.25.

The X (extra tariff), which applies to journeys at Christmas and New Year – and can also be charged for journeys over four miles beyond the nearest city boundary if agreed prior to the start of the journey with the passenger – will be charged at a minimum of £3.90, up from £3.60.

An initial plan would have seen the X minimum tariff of £3.90 used for journeys taking place between 2am and 6am on Sundaymornings has been dropped.

Overall, Liverpool fares for a two-mile journey remain the cheapest among the big ‘core cities’ and the city is 294th in the national fare league table.

Cllr Frank Hont, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for regulatory services, said: “Nobody likes price increases but Liverpool’s fares are still lower than other similar sized cities and this is only the second rise in six years.

“We have decided against increasing fares in the early hours of Sunday morning because of feedback that it would be unfair to clubbers and may discourage drivers from agreeing to take people beyond the city boundary.

“Our licensing team are doing a lot of positive work with the trade to drive up standards and address issues such as cherry picking, plying for hire and encouraging drivers to consider more environmentally friendly vehicles. This rise will help make the hackney trade in the city more financially viable.”