The Guildford Hackney Association (GHA) has scrapped plans to reduce the costs of taxi journeys per mile after councillors claimed that the proposed move would have been subjected to a judicial review.
This threat of legal action has resulted in a U-turn on the original plans which were put in place by Guildford Borough Council, after drivers in the GHA claimed the decrease in fares would negatively affect their livelihoods.
Mark Rostron, secretary of the GHA, claimed that drivers could lose up to £7,000 a year in earnings if the pricing changes had gone ahead. He said:
“From the association’s point of view, we are pleased we managed to stop this crazy council proposal. Obviously it would be very damaging to taxi drivers, and to the users of taxis because it would have lead to a reduction in the number of taxis working and a shortage at critical times. At the same time, we are really disappointed we had to yet again resort to expensive legal means and threaten a judicial review to get the council to see reason and recognise it made serious mistakes in its decision.”
The scrapped proposal means that taxi fares in Guildford will remain at £2.04 per mile, with a nighttime and holiday rate of £3.07.
Councillor Graham Ellwood claimed that the decision to abandon the plans was not based on the threat of judicial review, but on general costs in the United Kingdom.
“We never back down in the face of judicial review. The reason I called the decision is simple – the fare calculator was worked out two years ago and although I understand the reason, it was looking to reduce fares because of a drop in fuel price. I don’t believe it takes into account other costs which are going to rise. For example, the cost of mortgages.”
The council is set to discuss further plans for the borough’s taxi service in September.