The latest bid to set a single set of taxi fares for the whole of Cornwall looks unlikely to succeed after cabbies raised objections.
There are currently six different sets of taxi fares in Cornwall which date from the former district and borough councils being the licensing authorities.
When the single Cornwall Council was formed it was anticipated that a single set of fares would be put in place across the county.
However, ten years later, despite numerous attempts, it has not been possible to come up with a scheme of fares that everyone agrees with.
Licensing officers had been asked by the council’s miscellaneous licensing committee to draw up a single tariff for all six zones in consultation with Hackney carriage drivers.
But a mixed response from the various cabbies’ forums has meant that the committee will have to now decide whether to go ahead with trying to get a single fare system in place.
The Carrick and Restormel forum did not support a single countywide tariff, with one of the concerns being that taxi drivers would be able to operate across the whole of Cornwall.
Caradon and North Cornwall taxi drivers were not concerned about a single tariff but only if it was higher and not less than the current tariffs in the area.
Although one member said that it was a “waste of taxpayers’ money” to try to come up with a single tariff when the existing ones work.
The Kerrier forum indicated that it would be happy with a single tariff, but in Penwith drivers did not think it was a good idea.
Information provided for the committee when it meets on Friday shows the differences between charges in the different areas.
The minimum cost for a taxi for one person in the daytime Monday to Saturday varies from £2.80 in Penwith – in West Cornwall – to £3.50 in Restormel – which covers St Austell and Newquay and areas in between the two towns.
But a five-mile daytime fare Monday to Saturday for one passenger varies from a low of £12.80 in Caradon – covering South East Cornwall – and North Cornwall to a high of £17.25 in Kerrier – which covers Helston, Camborne and Redruth.
However, the charges are difficult to compare as each area has different times for its various tariffs.
For example, in Kerrier the daytime tariffs operate from 7am to midnight, whereas in Caradon and North Cornwall they run from 7am to 7pm.
There are similar differences for Sunday fares – during daytime on Sunday Restormel is the most expensive area with the minimum fare for one passenger being £5 and a five-mile journey £18.50.
In comparison the cheapest Sunday daytime fare for one passenger is in Kerrier at £2.90 and the cheapest five-mile fare is £15.30 in Penwith.
And for Sunday nighttime in Kerrier – from midnight to 7am – the minimum is £5.56 and a five-mile fare is £30.98. But the cheapest nighttime fare is in Penwith – from 11pm to 6am – at £3.50 for the minimum journey and £15.30 for a five-mile journey.
Cornwall Council’s miscellaneous licensing committee will meet on Friday April 12 when they will decide whether officers should create a single table of fares for taxis for consultation.