HC Deb 11 December 1958 vol 597 cc488-9
7. Mr. Usborne

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement about London taxi fares.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I have today made an Order making permanent the increase of 6d. for each hiring which I provisionally authorised last year to meet the increase in the cost of operating London taxis since the fares were last fixed in 1951. This increase will, as meters are altered, be included in the hiring charge shown on the meter and cease to be a surcharge. I have also decided to authorise an extra charge of 1s. for each hiring beginning or ending between midnight and 6 a.m.

Mr. Usborne

Does the Home Secretary realise that since September, 1957, and certainly in recent months, it has been the almost invariable habit of taxi drivers when picking up a fare to register a 6d. surcharge on the meter? Therefore, to have a placard inside the cab indicating that there is a surcharge of 6d. to be added to the amount on the meter is a little confusing to some country bumpkins like myself. Would the right hon. Gentleman consider seeing that the notice of surcharge is taken from the inside of the cab when the 6d. is already shown on the meter outside?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. I think that we might avoid duplication of the kind to which the hon. Member refers. I am told that it will take about a year to change all the meters, though many can be changed earlier than that.