UTTOXETER taxi users are being urged not to worry about rising fares, as major taxi firms in town have confirmed they will be keeping their prices the same for the foreseeable future.
East Staffordshire Private Hire and Taxi Association have announced a raft of increases set to be put in place in a move it said was needed for the industry to survive.
But Uttoxeter taxi users can breathe a sigh of relief as the changes will not affect them.
Uttoxeter Taxis, Uttoxeter Station Taxis, Uttoxeter Radio Cars and Oldfields Cars all reported they would not be increasing their fares in line with East Staffordshire increases in the near future.
Taxi chiefs across East Staffordshire have defended the price rises after changes were announced that could see a 10p charge for every 15 seconds of waiting time, 50p for every piece of luggage past the first piece, 10p for every shopping bag after the first five and a £70 fee for anyone who is sick in a taxi.
Mohammad Ikhlaq of the East Staffordshire Private Hire and Taxi Association said: “I know that many people will see this as a negative because some of the prices are going up but it is something we have to do to make sure that we keep our heads above water.
“Most taxi drivers in the town are not even making minimum wage and this is something that cannot go on.
“In terms of the charge for when people are sick in our cabs, yes this is rising from £45 to £70 but this covers not just the cleaning, but also the time that the taxi is off the road while this takes place.
“We don’t want to have to raise our charges but with added costs such as rising fuel and insurance prices, it is something we have had to do.
“We have a right to earn a living, a decent living and this is what we have to do to make sure that we can do that.
“People will not like it but, from our point of view, it is something we could not have done.”
There could also be a £1 charge for any taxi hire between 6pm and 5am on cabs choosing to raise prices in line with changes.
Wheelchair and pushchair access would still be free but it could cost £3 to transport a dog, cat or any kind of pet.