TAXI fares in Caerphilly county borough could increase for the first time in eight years, a report has revealed.

Caerphilly council is considering a 40p hike – an average fare rise of 13 per cent – for all hackney carriage journeys.

This would mean the starting meter cost for journeys taken between 7am to 7pm will cost £3.40 – up from £3 – and 20p for each subsequent mile.

The same journey taken between 7pm and 7am will cost £3.90 – up from £3.50 – and the same charge per subsequent mile.

Members of the council’s taxi and general committee will discuss the changes at a meeting on Thursday, June 21.

A report says: “The [council’s] licensing service suggested its own proposal of the tariff. This was suggested in acknowledgement increase that an increase in the tariff was overdue, given the last increase in 2010 and the valuable role that taxi and private hire vehicles undertake in respect of transport provision in the borough.”

The council’s increase was one of four proposals put forward alongside the Caerphilly County Borough Taxi Drivers Association (CCBTDA), and two independent taxi licensees.

But the council described the fare increases within two of the submissions as “unrealistic” for fare-paying passengers.

A consultation amongst members of the Caerphilly taxi trade drew 97 responses, with almost half – 47.4 per cent – voting in favour of the council’s tariff increase.

The proposed times of operation are also a change from the existing 6am to midnight and vice versa.

“This provides the trade with the opportunity of increased income with the second tariff commencing at 7pm as opposed to midnight,” the report continues.

“A number of responses suggested that the change of tariff should be 6am to 6pm, however it is believed that this could have a detrimental impact upon the number of passenger who use taxis to get to and from work.”

But eight consultees aren’t onboard with the council’s ideas, with one fearing that the increase would lead to lost custom.

Two-mile fares in Caerphilly are tied with Torfaen as the third lowest in Wales, with the table propped up by Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau Gwent.

Currently the authority is the 338th cheapest area for a two-mile taxi trip out of 370 local authorities in England and Wales.

But if the 13 per cent increase is approved, Caerphilly would move up to 258th in the national fare tables.