COUNCILLORS are bidding to find a way of making taxi fares clearer to local residents.
Fylde Council is concerned although there is a maximum taxi fare set by then, up to five different tariffs are being operated in the borough.
The council’s public protection committee – who first raised the issue last year – had asked officers to investigate whether it was possible for the council tariff to be shown on the meter, and any discounts only applied at the end of the journey.
As it stands, Whitesides taxi company offer two separate fares – both lower than the council maximum – and Premier Fylde charge the council maximum for taxis hired off the stand or flagged down and a separate tariff for journeys booked through the company’s operator.
The situation has led to safety concerns from independent hackney carriage proprietors, who feel they are bearing the brunt of customers confusion and are being accused of overcharging.
But, in a report to go before the committee on Thursday, the council’s officers state it would be “unlawful” to force taxi drivers to only discount at the end of the journey.
Instead, the committee are being asked to consider instructing officers to undertake a consultation exercise, with a view to attaching a condition to the Hackney Carriage Proprietors Licence requiring signage to be displayed in the vehicle clearly indicating the fares charged.
The report to councillors states: “It could be reasonably necessary to condition the Hackney carriages so that fares are clearly displayed and impose a condition requiring the vehicle to display or explain any differences between the different tariffs in use.”
The council has stressed it has no issue with discounted fares, viewing them as “beneficial” to customers and fair competition.