§ Mr. John H. Osborn
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is now the average cost per mile for the hire of taxicabs in the London area and outside London, respectively, and in total for a typical journey; and how this compares with the comparative indices or costs for 1 April 1979, 1 April 1978, and 1 April 1977, respectively.
§ Mr. Raison
In typical two to three mile journeys in London the present cost—unchanged since December 1977—ranges from 37p to 47p per mile. In areas outside London fare scales vary from district to district, but in a typical area journeys of a similar length would cost from 42p to 60p per mile.
The comparable figures for London in April 1977 were from 34p to 45p per mile; outside London at each date the range of figures was slightly higher than that in London.
§ Mr. Ron Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will allow local authorities in the intervening periods before fare applications can be heard, to allow taxi drivers a surcharge of 5p per journey to cover VAT.
§ Mr. Whitelaw
Taxi fares and charges outside London are matters principally for local authorities.
I have, however, made an order under section 55 of the Finance Act 1974 authorising local authorities such as Carlisle which control taxis by byelaws to amend those byelaws by resolution to permit taxi operators to levy a surcharge of not more than 10p per hiring with a view to off-setting the recent increase in VAT. The order comes into operation on 4 July.