Proposed hackney fare increases in York have been agreed by councillors at a meeting on Tuesday 10 August. The fare rise was proposed by the local Hackney Carriage Associations and it will be the first time that fares have increased since June 2018. According to the york Press, changes approved include an increase in the special higher tariff for race days, which covers journeys to and from York Racecourse, which will rise from a £5.80 to a £6 starting fee. One driver had warned that the plans to raise the starting fare to £6 on race days may cause conflict and that the steep fee could anger passengers on their way to and from the racecourse who are “often fuelled by alcohol” which may cause them to quarrel with drivers. The driver wrote: “This is a very high starting rate which quite often starts a journey off with conflict. Many passengers, local and from other cities, won’t believe such a high starting rate. “These conflicts can be even worse coming from the race- course when passengers are often fuelled with alcohol.” They ask why York has dedicated higher fee on race days when many other cities with large venues do not have pricier tariffs. They suggest it is abolished and replaced with the night time tariff, which is not as costly as the race day rate. “Why do we have a race day tariff?” they say. “I have looked at other city’s fare charts that have much larger venues such as Manchester and Leeds, which have huge stadiums and they don’t have a stadium rate on a match day. Also, if we had tariff 2 on all day it would stop the exodus of taxis racing up to the racecourse early afternoon in the hope of making a quick buck, leaving the city centre ranks undermanned and frustrated loyal regular customers often waiting ages for a cab.” There will also now be a premium rate which will apply to vehicles carrying five passengers or more. Robin Sargent, Chair of the York Hackney Carriage Association, told PHTM: “As a long-standing member of the hackney trade in York and as chair of one of the associations, I was approached by my members who drove multi-seater wheelchair accessible vehicles, who were getting to a point where they needed to be replaced with a newer vehicle. But due to the cost involved in buying a vehicle that meets the requirements of our council, they felt that a premium charge for trips involving five or more people was a fair request


otherwise they would be forced to buy smaller vehicles. This would then ultimately have a more expensive out- come overall for the customers in groups of five or more because they would have to get two taxis at normal rate, rather than one taxi at premium tariff (fare plus half).” The new tariffs are due to launch on 1 September.


Social media has come up trumps for a small but extremely effective charity from North Yorkshire. PHTM featured a story a few weeks ago about Dementia Forward providing awareness training for 200 taxi drivers across Richmondshire after concerns were raised by a carer. Particularly in rural areas where public trans- port is limited taxis can play a very big part and being more aware of the issues for people with dementia has to be a huge bonus. “It is not unusual for someone living with dementia to express a desire to return to the familiarity of child- hood,” said Dementia Support Advisor Janice Smith. Dementia awareness training is important for giving taxi drivers confidence in these situations, and helping peo- ple with dementia to safely maintain their independence. District Council Chairman and council Dementia Cham- pion, Cllr Clive World, added: “This has been a unique project and every driver who has taken the course will display a vehicle sticker giving confidence to passengers and their families.” The Darlington and Stockton Times reports that now in New York, via Linkedin, dementia volunteers have rea about the scheme and have been realised how impor- tant it could be in the tricky streets of the Big Apple. Obviously the situation is different to North Yorkshire but patently as necessary. Dementia training was given over the internet and hope- fully that is being distributed to cabbies throughout the city. The internet has been the key and Dementia Forward, while it has the county council contract for dementia support, is a tiny charity so to be able to spread the word in such an impressive way is quite an achievement. It was astonished to see just how global the internet has proved to be and the value it’s added in getting out their all important message. The hope is that social media will be used more and more to get the important information across. There’s no doubt many campaigns and crucial developments can benefit, they just need support.


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