Taxi drivers have already requested a 10% fare increase and say they will need more to meet the increased charges being imposed by the States.The Island’s biggest coach operator has also said that charges to tourists will have to rise.The Driver and Vehicle Standards Department wrote recently to taxi and cab drivers and bus and coach companies telling them that the cost of their annual inspections is to rise by around £66 from January next year.Department head Rohan Minkley says that the current charges do not cover the department’s costs.’This was a decision taken by the previous Home Affairs Committee and approved by Finance and Economics after our charges were audited by the Audit Commission.
We have done what we were asked to do, which was to give plenty of warning,’ he said.And he added: ‘Vehicle examinations have been done very cheaply for a very long time and the fees have not reflected the true cost of the service.’The committee’s intention was that the ‘user’ should pay and in this case that means the public because the rise will be passed on to customers.Mick Cotillard, managing director of Tantivy Blue Coach Tours, said that the rise would cost the company around £3,500 a year for their 60-vehicle fleet.’We can’t absorb that.
I’m afraid charges for things like transfers from the Airport and ports will have to rise.’He accepted that the charges did not reflect the true cost of the service but said: ‘I think they’re panicking, to be honest.
If they have to do it they should do it gradually.’Taxi drivers’ representatives, meanwhile, were due to have talks with Home Affairs Committee member Deputy Collin Egré today, with the user pays policy and fare increases on the agenda.The secretary of the Taxi Drivers’ Association, Danny Kevan, says that if the department wants to put its charges up, it must also allow fare increases.’They are imposing this and they are also the government body which dictates what we can charge.
It’s a bit incongruous if they can put up their charges and we can’t,’ he said.Mr Kevan said that the 10% fare increase drivers were requesting was reasonable in the face of spiralling motoring charges and the cost of living.