Earlier this week the government announced the biggest pay rise in over 10 years for over a million public sector workers including teachers, police and the armed forces. But did you know that the Southampton taxi trade has not had a fare increase since 2014?
When putting in our proposal for a fare increase, we have to follow an antiquated system whereby firstly a proposed fare increase is presented to the Southampton licensing councillors and we are then cross examined by councillors as to why we want a fare increase - which is slightly bizarre! This system goes back to the 1847 Town and Police Clauses Act where fare increases were decided by commissionaires. In fact, the whole fare structure may even go back to the days of Oliver Cromwell in June 1654 who first licensed the taxi trade in London!
Unfortunately, we seem to be one of the only professions who have to go in front of a panel to decide our fate. Despite this, Southampton City Council still expect us to spend vast sums of money to purchase electric/hybrid vehicles to comply with the clean air policy but will not consider alternative fuel vehicles with lower costs. The whole system is ridiculous.