Taxi fares in Aberdeen will go up by 5% from next month – the first increase in seven years.
The city council’s licensing committee yesterday unanimously agreed to introduce the change by adjusting yardage figures, meaning additional charges to the basic cost will start after a shorter distance.
Under the new changes, which be in effect from August 21, the basic tariff in Aberdeen will be £2.40 for the first 902.5 yards, and an additional 20p for every additional 171.5 yards.
Previously, taxi journeys cost £2.40 for the first 950 yards and every additional 180.5 yards was priced at 20p.
Derek Davidson, a taxi driver of 20 years in Aberdeen, said the costs associated with the trade have changed significantly since rates last went up in 2011 and welcomed the news of extra cash.
He said: “I’ve got mixed feelings on it, but I think we probably do need this rise as things are pretty tough at the moment.
“It’s now seven years since we’ve last had a fare increase. It was going to have to go up at some point and this isn’t really the biggest of increases.
“If you go on a £10 journey, it will now cost an extra 50p, so that seems fair to me.
“Things cost a lot more than they did years ago. Fuel is about the same, but garage bills have gone up and there’s more competition now, so it’s quite hard to make a living in this job at the moment.
John Reynolds, the convener of the city council’s licensing committee, said the local taxi industry has suffered due to the recent downturn in the North Sea oil and gas industry.
“Hopefully this will give taxi drivers a little bit more money to invest in their vehicles,” he said.
“Particularly with the fall in the price of oil, we’ve had a large number of taxi drivers that unfortunately felt forced to leave the trade. They didn’t feel they could afford to carry on through the worst parts of the downturn.
“Now things have stabilised somewhat, I think it is the appropriate time for the increase.”