Drunks face bigger bill to clean-up Blackpool cabs
Drunken passengers who throw up in a Blackpool cab will have to pay an extra Â£10 towards cleaning costs as part of a review of taxi charges in the resort.
The cleaning charge for people who soil a cab has been increased to £40 from £30 as part of increases agreed by the council’s public protection sub-committee.
Taxi bosses said drivers could be off the road for an hour or more cleaning up if someone vomited in a cab.
Councillors have agreed to a request from the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association for fare increases for the town’s Hackney cabs which are the first rises for six years.
It means the charges for waiting times, when the cab is stuck in traffic for example, will increase from 20p every 45 seconds to 20p every 40 seconds.
Other increases mean passengers will pay a 60p surcharge for journeys in the early hours of the morning starting from 1am instead of from 2am as at present.
The current extra charge of 20p for additional passengers, suitcases, dogs (excluding assistance dogs) will be increased to 30p.
Bill Lewtas, secretary of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association, said: “Despite not having a fare increase since 2012 we have only made minor changes to our fares.
“There is no increase on the meter commencing figure and the yardage increments are exactly the same.
“However, our costs have risen, so we have reluctantly requested some minor changes.
“Also, mainly because of rising fuel costs the waiting time will be reduced from 20p every 45 seconds to 40 seconds.
“And the early hours Tariff 3 surcharge of 60p will be brought forward by one hour from 2am to 1am.
“We will be charging 30p each for additional passengers or items of luggage, instead of the current 20p. We note that this is 40p in Fylde.”
Mr Lewtas said the increase in soiling charges was to take into account the time it took for drivers to clean their vehicles.
He said: “If someone vomits in your cab it is horrible to deal with and it happens more often than you think.
“It is mostly young people who can’t hold their drink.”
But there is good news for New Year’s Day revellers with fares reducing.
Mr Lewtas added: “The good news for customers is that we intend reducing our New Year’s Day tariff.
“On this day our fares will be brought into line with Boxing Day and reduced by £2 from 6am to 10pm.”
The new charges will come into effect from July 1.