Taxis suffer in town’s traffic jams

Skipton Road, Harrogate.(2312033j)
Skipton Road, Harrogate.(2312033j)

Taxis in Harrogate face ten times the wear and tear as a private vehicle due to the notorious stop start traffic of the town centre, a Harrogate taxi association has said.

Harrogate Borough Council’s were asked to consider a range of changes to taxi fares at a meeting last night (Wednesday March 11).

Representatives from the Harrogate Taxi Liaison Group proposed a variety of different fare structures, ranging from a 1.19 per cent to a 3.18 per cent average increase.

In a letter to the council, Blueline taxis said: “Vehicles used as taxis/private hire require extensive maintenance if they are to be kept in safe and presentable condition, an average Blueline car would undertake 15 –25 journeys per day .

“This means that these vehicles which are predominantly undertaking short journeys in the famous Harrogate traffic are suffering at least ten times the wear and tear which would apply to a private car, resulting in greatly increased frequency of servicing, replacement of tyres, brakes, clutches etc.

“The average working life of a Harrogate taxi vehicle is relatively short and any vehicle used as a taxi has a very low residual value.”

They add that an average Harrogate taxi needs to make an average of £15,000 per year before it breaks even.

None of the five pricing proposals involve increasing the cost of the first mile of the journey due to the ‘physchological effect’ of the initial cost being over £5 when a taxi is flagged at time and half rates.

Maximum taxi fares set by the council have not increased since November 2012.

Harrogate is currently 43rd most expensive at two miles out of 365 local authorities falling from 20th most expensive in April 2012.

2012 was 20th.