Customers were expecting to pay less per mile throughout the Guildford area as the council promised plans to lower the rate for tax travel. However, following a challenge from Guildford Hackney Association the scheme has been blocked, a decision that the taxi drivers of Guilford have understandably welcomed.
With drivers expected to lose around 7,000 a year on earnings the appeal to not pass this change was a necessity for many, simply not being able to afford the alteration.
Speaking after the announcement there would be no change, Mr Rostron secretary of Guildford Hackney Association said:
“From the association’s point of view, we are pleased we managed to stop this crazy council proposal.
“Obviously it would be very damaging to taxi drivers, and to the users of taxis because it would have lead to a reduction in the number of taxis working and a shortage at critical times.
“At the same time, we are really disappointed we had to yet again resort to expensive legal means and threaten a judicial review to get the council to see reason and recognise it made serious mistakes in its decision.
“The council is wasting tax payers’ money, a large amount of council tax payers’ money, pursuing all these mistaken policies over the years.
“The public of Guildford are paying for the incompetence of the council. Because of the history of this, I think it fair to say the drivers don’t have any confidence in the council, the councillors and officers, in their capacity to deal with taxi licensing.”
How did they stop the rate being lowered?
According to Mr Rostron driver hired a barrister who wrote to the council saying if the council did make changes to fares, a judicial review would be launched.
However, Councillor Graham Ellwood, lead member for community safety and licensing, said the decision had nothing to do with the threat of a judicial review.
“Mark tends to issue the threat of judicial reviews a bit like confetti, which is not helpful,” Cllr Ellwood said.
“We never back down in the face of judicial review. The reason I called in the decision is simple.
“The fare calculator was worked out two years ago and although I understand the reason, it was looking to reduce fares because of a drop in fuel price.
“I don’t believe it takes into account other costs which are going to rise. For example, the costs of mortgages.”
Let us know what you think, did the council act fairly? Leave your comments below.