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‘Always agree taxi fare in advance’: Torfaen Council advice following increase in taxi fare disputes

A Torfaen Council officer has reminded residents to always agree the fare of a taxi at the time of booking so they know the price before their trip is over.

The council received 33 complaints about taxis in the borough from October 2021 to March 2022. These included a number from people who said they were over-charged at the end of their journey.

The item was discussed at a meeting of the licensing committee.

Cllr Norma Parish, Panteg Ward, said the committee hadn’t previously seen many complaints about fare disputes and wanted to know if officers knew why there had been a sudden increase.

Claire Howells, team manager for the licensing and trading standards team, said they don’t have any control over the prices that private hire taxis charge. She added: “What we always have advised, and will advise going forward is if somebody makes a booking via a private hire operator, the fare is agreed at the time of making the booking.

“So then people know what is going to be charged and the fare is agreed before the journey is undertaken. You are correct  Cllr Parish, this isn’t something that comes up very often. We have seen an influx over the last few months. The reasons why, I’m not sure, but again any complaints that come in, we always give the advice going forward, please agree the fare before the journey is undertaken.”

Cllr Jon Horlor, Trevethin & Penygarn Ward, said: “As a non-driver who uses taxis regularly, what used to be a £5 fare 12 months ago is now an £8 or £10 fare. Unless you ask, it can be either the eight or the ten (pounds) and that’s just on a local run. I just think it’s just to do with the sheer rise in the petrol prices and that kind of thing leading to a huge spike in what the taxis are charging.”

Cllr Lynda Clarkson, Abersychan Ward, suggested that the council communications team do some work on social media to help change people’s behaviour to start to ask for the cost of the journey at the time of booking.

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‘Always agree taxi fare in advance’: Torfaen Council advice following increase in taxi fare disputes

illuminated taxi sign