CLYDEBANK taxi drivers could see major changes to fares if councillors vote to change the town’s pricing structure.
The new changes would see an increase in the waiting period for drivers from three minutes and 45 seconds to five minutes for a customer to enter the vehicle before being subjected to an additional wait fee of 10p per 30 seconds.
Thirty-five of the 44 respondents to the council’s consultation on the matter stated they disagreed with the proposal.
While 23 opted to continue the same pricing and tariff over the festive period, which currently states journeys from 10pm to 6am daily and 6pm to midnight on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve would be charged at a rate of £4 for 5/11ths of a mile then 10p per each additional 1/20th of a mile.
But one cabbie from Drumchapel, who preferred not be named, hopes the committee will reject the move and has branded the plans “overcomplicated”.
He said: “I’ve worked in the area for more than 20 years and the pricing structure has changed a fair bit since then.
“It’s hard enough as it is to explain to customers why the prices are the way they are without the constant changes.
“As for the waiting times, most drivers will wait because we know people are in a rush so it is unnecessary to increase them.”
He added: “It’s a hassle, it’s difficult to enforce and it’s not enough of a increase to make a dramatic change to drivers’ lives – so why bother?”
West Dunbartonshire Council’s licensing committee will meet at Clydebank Town Hall on Wednesday, April 19, to discuss the proposals.
The council’s officers will ask councillors to agree to the plans, either by adopting the majority view of industry workers, who responded to a consultation on the matter, or by devising their own proposal.
However, respondents stated they felt the consultation was not effectively carried out as it had not included a number of industry workers, despite the council receiving just 44 responses after issuing 96 questionnaires.
One said: “I don’t believe this questionnaire fairly represents the drivers of Clydebank.
“All badge holders, not just plate holders should be asked their opinion as we all pay an exorbitant amount annually to trade here and they should be able to have a say in what affects their livelihood.”
Another added: “I think any alteration to the fare chart should be done by ballot as half the plate holders aren’t represented by this present set up.”
On the other hand, the majority of drivers were in favour of charges for soiling the taxi – where a taxi is required to be removed from service for cleaning due to spillage, vomit, urine or excrement – which could become a maximum of £50.
The group also agreed to extending the current policy of charging those who book a taxi via a telephone but don’t use it £2.50 to include those who book via the app.