Taxi fares across North Yorkshire set to be aligned for new council

This story was published 17 January 2023

Senior councillors will meet next week to discuss plans to align the maximum fares which drivers of hackney carriage vehicles can charge in North Yorkshire.

A taxi sign

A new policy needs to be adopted for the launch of the new North Yorkshire Council on 1 April, providing a uniform approach to the charges for fares across the county.

Currently, the existing seven borough and district councils in North Yorkshire set their own hackney carriage fares that are the maximum a customer can be charged.

But ahead of the new council being the sole licensing authority from 1 April, the decision-making executive will be asked to endorse a single set of fares for North Yorkshire.

Executive member for open to business, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “We need to ensure all businesses, residents and visitors across North Yorkshire are subject to the same maximum fare, regardless of where they live, work or visit.

“The setting of taxi fares is a statutory duty for the licensing authority and our aim is to strike a balance between setting a fare that is acceptable to the customer and to the taxi driver, and not create confusion by varied fares in the licensed area.

“The proposed fares are the maximum hackney carriage drivers can charge. They can, of course, charge a lower fare, should they wish to do so.”

While there are no national guidelines or guidance for the setting of maximum fares, we have explored various options to ensure a fair tariff for both customers and the trade, with drivers facing increased running costs in recent years especially due to the rising price in fuel. The proposed fares are based on the maximum fare that is currently in place for both Harrogate and Selby.

Under the proposed tariff, a two-mile journey within North Yorkshire would cost a maximum of £7.40 between 6am and midnight. A maximum soiling charge of £100 – should a vehicle need to be cleaned – has also been set to align with the current charges in Richmondshire, Craven and Ryedale.

If approved by the county council’s executive on Tuesday next week (24 January), the proposed fares will be subject to a statutory 14-day period for people to share their views.

Once a tariff of fares has been set, a driver cannot charge more to passengers than the charge shown on the meter apart from in certain exceptional circumstance, such as where a journey ends outside of the council area and a fee has been agreed in advance.

Private hire vehicles set their own fares and cannot be regulated by the licensing authority, so customers should agree the fare before the journey commences.

The alignment of fares for hackney carriages and licensing fees for both hackney carriage and private hire vehicles follows the county council’s plans to adopt a single taxi licensing policy for the whole of North Yorkshire from 1 April.

The draft policy, which was subject to a 12-week public consultation, seeks to ensure that the public continues to be provided with safe and accessible hackney carriage and private hire vehicles, as well as a coherent regulatory framework for the trade across the county. The outcome of the consultation will be presented to the county council’s executive in February.

Further information, and a full breakdown of the proposed fares, can be found in the executive report and accompanying appendix.