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Taxi fares will change in Bridgend County Borough next week after a new pricing proposal suggested by licensed drivers was agreed.

A number of taxi drivers have argued that fares should be increased for the first time since 2011 due to the rise in cost of livingcoupled with the cost of running their vehicles.

In October, after considering four alternative pricing structures put forward by drivers, the Cabinet at Bridgend County Borough Council agreed with the option which had the most support from the trade.

The chosen option suggested that, for one to four passengers, the daytime 'pick up rate' which covers the first half mile of a journey should be raised by 30p to become £2.80 instead of £2.50. After this distance, the fares would increase by 20p every tenth of a mile as opposed to every eighth of a mile.

Fares would remain more expensive between the hours of 8pm and 6am, as well as on Bank Holidays and Christmas Day. Drivers were also keen for the soiling charge to increase to £125.

The proposal was advertised by the council in November as a public notice, giving local residents the chance to raise any concerns. The fare changes have now been approved and will come into effect from Monday 14 January.

Cllr Dhanisha Patel, a member of the Shared Regulatory Services Joint Committee which covers licensing matters, said: "Drivers were keen to see a slight fare change as they have been telling us that they face larger outlays before they can start to earn a living. However, it was important to strike a balance, bearing in mind that taxis should remain affordable for the public, especially those who depend on them.

"If you compare the taxi fares between all 370 local authorities across the country, Bridgend County Borough is currently the 331st most expensive area to hail a taxi, at £4.90 for a two-mile journey. The most expensive fare can be found in Watford, where a two-mile journey costs £8.40.

"Under the new fare rate, a two-mile journey here will cost £5.80, which will put us in roughly the middle at 198th most

All of the taxis - also known as hackney carriages - that are licensed by Bridgend County Borough Council can be hailed from the street, operate from taxi ranks, or be pre-booked if required. Their pricing structures differ from those for private hire vehicles such as minibuses which always need to be pre-booked and can't be flagged down. expensive, which is still cheaper than the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff."

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