3. Other consultation proposals

Summary

The table below shows the other consultation items and what is being proposed or asked.

Item

Proposals/Questions

Tariff 4

We are proposing to make the Tariff 4 rates the same as the Tariff 2 rates

Booked taxi extra

The maximum booked taxi extra is £2.00

We would like to know if you think the booked taxi extra should:

  • Remain at £2.00
  • Be increased

If you think it should be increased what it should be increased to

Heathrow extra

£3.60 can currently be added to the fare for taxi journeys that start from one of the taxi ranks at Heathrow Airport, this is to help taxi drivers cover the fee they must pay Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) to access the taxi ranks


HAL have reduced the fee taxi drivers must pay from £7.20 to £3.60


The extra charge we set is normally around 50% of the fee taxi drivers must pay HAL


We are proposing to reduce the Heathrow extra from £3.60 to £2.00

Wimbledon Tennis Championships fixed-fare, shared taxi scheme

We would like to know if you think the fixed fare for shared taxis between Southfields and Wimbledon stations and the tennis should:

  • Remain at £2.50
  • Be increased


Tariff 4

Tariff 4 applies once a taxi journey reaches approximately six miles. Tariff 4 was intended to encourage drivers to accept fares for longer journeys, when they may have been less likely to accept these unless there was an incentive to do so.

Following concerns being raised that Tariff 4 had become too high and made longer taxi journeys less competitive it has been frozen in the four previous taxi fares and tariff reviews.

Tariff 4 was historically higher than Tariffs 1 and 2 but lower than Tariff 3, but as a result of it being frozen it is now lower than Tariffs 2 and 3.

Changing or removing Tariff 4 has been considered in the past.

We are now proposing to make the Tariff 4 rates the same as the Tariff 2 rates.

The table below shows what happened to the tariff rate once a journey reaches six miles originally, what happens currently and what is proposed.

This is being considered separately to the options for Tariffs 1, 2 and 3 to help simplify those options. The change to Tariff 4 is also something we could implement independently of any changes/freeze to Tariffs 1, 2 and 3.


Time when journey is made

When a taxi journey reaches six miles, tariff rate…

Originally

Currently

Proposed

When Tariff 1 applies

Increases

Increases

Increases

When Tariff 2 applies

Increases

Decreases

No change to tariff rate

When Tariff 3 applies

Decreases

Decreases

Decreases



Research has shown that the average distance of a taxi journey is 2.6 miles and that 91 per cent of journeys are under six miles. This means that the majority of taxi passengers, journeys and fares will not be affected by the proposed change to Tariff 4.

Distance

All London

Suburban

All

Up to 1 mile

27.0%

29.1%

27.2%

1 mile – 1.9 miles

28.6%

23.9%

28.1%

2 miles – 2.9 miles

17.7%

12.5%

17.2%

3 miles – 3.9 miles

10.1%

8.9%

10.0%

4 miles – 4.9 miles

4.9%

5.9%

5.0%

5 miles – 5.9 miles

3.2%

4.5%

3.4%

6+ miles

8.40%

15.30%

4.90%

Average distance (miles)

2.5

3.1

2.6


Making Tariff 4 the same as Tariff 2 is being proposed for the following reasons:

  • This simplifies the tariff structure
  • This ensures that there will continue to be an incentive for taxi drivers to accept longer journeys when Tariff 1 applies. It also means that the tariff rate will not fall once a journey reaches six miles when Tariff 2 applies
  • Tariff 3 will continue to be the highest tariff and hopefully encourage taxi drivers to work at night
  • If we continue to freeze Tariff 4 this could mean some taxi drivers are less willing to accept fares for longer journeys and passengers wanting to make these journeys experience problems when trying to get a taxi
  • This change may reduce the risk of drivers refusing to accept longer journeys, benefiting passengers wanting to take a taxi for a journey that is over six miles
  • All taxi drivers would benefit when they have a journey that goes over six miles as tariff rate would be higher than it is at present. Taxi drivers who work at Heathrow Airport may be more likely to benefit as they may be more likely to do longer journeys

Booked taxi extra

Up to £2.00 can be added to taxi fares for a taxi hiring arranged by telephone, mobile phone, smart phone, mobile application, any application software and by use of the internet. This extra charge is listed on the taxi fare card displayed in the passenger compartment of all licensed taxis.

The extra charge was already in place when TfL took over responsibility for regulating taxi fares and tariffs in 2000. The maximum charge was £1.20 and could be added to the fare for hirings arranged by telephone.

In 2002 we increased the maximum charge to £2.00. In 2014 we extended the arrangement to allow up to £2.00 to be added to the fare for hirings arranged using mobile applications, any application software or the internet. In April of this year we removed the requirement for the extra charge to be added to the taximeter.

The extra charge is intended to help cover the costs associated with hirings being taken via a booking service. It can be charged for all hirings taken via a booking service, regardless of whether the journey is completed or it does not go ahead.

We’re interested in whether you think the booked taxi extra should:

  • Remain at £2.00
  • Be increased
  • If you think it should be increased how much it should be increased by/what it should be increased to

Extra charges can only be added to the taximeter in increments of 40 pence. Although we’ve removed the requirement for the booked taxi extra to be added to the taximeter some taxi booking services may still choose to have the extra added to the taximeter. Although the booked taxi extra is not added to Taxicard bookings at present it’s possible that in the future this could change. Therefore if this extra was increased it would still have to be possible to add the exact maximum amount to the taximeter (i.e. it would need to be £2.40, £2.80, £3.20, £3.60, £4.00, £4.40, £4.80, £5.20, etc).

Heathrow extra

At Heathrow Airport there are taxi ranks at each of the terminals. There is also a taxi feeder park, this is an area where taxis queue before proceeding to one of the terminal taxi ranks.

Taxi drivers must pay a fee to enter the taxi feeder park at Heathrow Airport and access the taxi ranks at the airport terminals. Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) sets the fee taxi drivers must pay to enter the taxi feeder park. The fee is intended to only cover the cost of operating the taxi feeder park and the taxi ranks at the airport.

We allow taxi drivers to charge a Heathrow extra to help them cover part of the cost of the taxi feeder park fee. We introduced the Heathrow extra in April 2004. It has normally covered around 50 per cent of the taxi feeder park fee.

HAL decide whether to increase or reduce the taxi feeder park fee. In July 2021 they increased it from £3.60 to £7.20 owing to losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic when demand for taxis at the airport was massively reduced. As a result of this increase to the fee taxi drivers must pay, in April 2022 we increased the extra taxi drivers can add to taxi fares from £2.80 to £3.60.

In April 2023 HAL decreased the fee taxi drivers pay from £7.20 to £3.60.

We’re now proposing to reduce the Heathrow extra from £3.60 to £2.00 as:

  • The Heathrow extra is normally around 50 per cent of the fee taxi drivers pay to enter the taxi feeder park and this fee is currently £3.60
  • Extra charges can be added to the taximeter in increments of 40 pence and so it is not possible to make this exactly half (£1.80) of the fee taxi drivers must pay
  • The maximum extra taxi drivers can add to the fare would be £2.00 but they can choose to charge less than this (e.g. £1.60, £1.20, 80 pence, etc) or not charge it all

Wimbledon Tennis Championships fixed-fare, shared-taxi scheme

During the Wimbledon Tennis Championships fixed-fare, shared-taxi schemes operate.

Passengers share their taxi with other people they may not know and each passenger pays a fixed fare. Potential benefits from these schemes include:

  • Passengers have a shorter wait for a taxi and reduced fares
  • Taxi drivers get a higher fare than for an equivalent exclusive hiring
  • The supply of available taxis can be used more efficiently
  • The local community benefits from fewer taxi movements, resulting in less congestion, noise and pollution

Fixed-fare, shared-taxis operate from the Wimbledon Tennis Championships to parts of central London. In the previous taxi fares and tariffs review we increased these fixed fares. No changes to these are proposed as part of this review.

Fixed-fare, shared-taxis also operate between Wimbledon and Southfields stations and the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. The table below shows when and where the shared taxis operate, and the fixed fares.

Time

Start

End

Fixed fare

Morning

Augustus Road (Southfields Station) taxi rank

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

£2.50 per passenger

Wimbledon Station taxi rank

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

£2.50 per passenger

Evening

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Southfields Station

£2.50 per passenger

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Wimbledon Station

£2.50 per passenger

During the 2023 Wimbledon Tennis Championships the morning fixed-fare, shared-taxi service from the stations to the tennis was reported to have worked well. However, problems were reported with the evening service and there not being enough taxis to meet the demand, resulting in long waits for passengers or passengers being unable to get a taxi.

We’re interested in whether you think the fixed-fares shown in the table above should:

  • Remain at £2.50 per passenger
  • Be increased
Categories: #3-Other consultation proposals
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