By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter
Taxi drivers will have to pay more to run their cabs in Gedling borough as the local council plans to increase their licensing fees and charges.
Gedling Borough Council is proposing to increase the cost of having a taxi licence by around 5.5 per cent as the department responsible for running taxis continues to lose money.
The proposed fees and charges for 2022/23 are designed to ensure the service operates towards ‘a full cost recovery basis’, the council said.
In a report prepared for a meeting on January 18, the council said: “The service has historically been delivered at a cost to the council and requires a subsidy to break even.
“The increases in fees over the past few years have been made to progress towards a full cost recovery model, this year’s increase brings the service a step closer, however, it is anticipated that the service will still be a cost to the council and still require a subsidy to break even.”
During the Covid pandemic in 2020, councillors decided not to increase fees for taxi drivers, operators, and vehicles.
The council said: “This was in recognition of the continuing difficulties faced by the taxi trade during the pandemic and the fees remained at the 2019/20 level.
“During 2021/22 fees were raised to reflect the increase in applications being received and enforcement work carried out as the lockdown restrictions were lifted.
“Now that the trade is back to pre-pandemic levels and above in terms of public demand, the administration and enforcement workload for the licensing team is back to pre-pandemic levels.
“Members are also asked to take into consideration that, notwithstanding the recent lockdowns, in recent years there has been an increase in licensing enforcement investigations involving complex cases as well as high visibility compliance checks across the region which has placed a further burden on existing resources.”
Gedling will publish details of the proposed fees for 2022/23 and provide for a period of 28 days for any objections to the fees to be lodged.
Any objections will be considered by the council before the proposed fees are finally approved.
Costs rises include:
- A driver licence fee (for one year) will rise from £158 to 166.50.
- a driver licence fee ( for three years) from £409 to 431.50.
- vehicle licence fee from £154 to £162.50
- operator’s licence (for one year) from £117 plus £117 per additional vehicle to £123.50 plus £123.50 per additional vehicle
- operator’s licence (for five years) from £620 plus £175 per additional vehicle to £654 plus £184.50 per additional vehicle
Cllr John Clarke (Lab), leader of Gedling Borough Council, said: “We are not a charity. It is not unlike energy bill rises. This is helping to achieve this balanced budget that we need to make in February/March this year by law.
“Taxi drivers had a break (from increases during the pandemic) and I have great sympathy with the fuel price rises but unfortunately we are going to have to increase some of these fees.”
The proposed rises are expected to be approved at a Environment and Licensing Committee on January 18.