§ Mr. Efford
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he has reached a decision on what fares London taxi drivers can charge over the Millennium celebrations. 
§ Mr. Hill
I intend to take forward a statutory instrument so that from 8.00 pm on 31 December 1999 until 6.00 am on 1 January 2000 London taxi fares, including any extra charges to the standard tariff, should be double the total amount shown on the meter, up to a total metered fare of £25. For total metered fares of over £25, there should be added a flat rate supplement of £25 to the total metered fare. The normal supplement of £3 for New Year's Eve will not apply. Details of all these arrangements must be displayed in the vehicle.
In reaching this decision I have taken account of representations from the London taxi trade, and the interests of the travelling public, both in having taxis available to them, and in having fares which are not unreasonable on this unique occasion. I believe these rates represent a sensible balance between making it worthwhile for drivers to work that night and protecting consumers from exorbitant charges.