TAXI fares are set to rise in Sunderland next month as drivers struggle to cope with soaring petrol and insurance prices.
Changes to the rates for a Hackney Carriage journey were announced by Sunderland City Council.
The move follows a request from drivers in Washington and will see a shortening of the intervals at which the meter ticks over an extra 20p on all tariffs.
For tariff one, which covers 7am to 11pm, Monday to Saturday, an extra 20p will be added for every 250 yards, instead of every 265 yards.
Tariff two, in operation on the same days, but between 11pm and 7am, will cost 20p for every 195 yards, down from 205, as will tariff three, for Christmas, New Year and bank holidays.
The current rates for the initial 170 yards of journeys on all three tariffs will remain unchanged, at £2.40, £2.80 and £3.80 respectively.
Trevor Hines, chairman of the Sunderland Hackney Carriage Operators Association, said that the move was a reluctant one on the part of the drivers, but the current climate meant increased fares were unavoidable.
He said: “We’ve reached that stage now, with horrendous fuel prices. Some insurance quotes have risen by 50 per cent, some even 100 per cent.
“We understand everyone is suffering at the moment, but we reached a point where we could not absorb anymore costs without a modest fare increase.”
Unless any objections are received, the new rates will come into effect on Friday, May 18.