The price is right for taxi drivers who lost money over Christmas because of meter problems

09:08 31 December 2015

FDC Taxi Meter adjustments, Taxi drivers, Left: Clive Feltell, Steve Fennelow. Picture: Steve Williams.

FDC Taxi Meter adjustments, Taxi drivers, Left: Clive Feltell, Steve Fennelow. Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

The price is finally right for taxi drivers after a meter problem was fixed that left them unable to charge Christmas bank holiday rates.

Fenland District Council arranged workshops in March and Wisbech for drivers to get their meters sorted in time for New Year’s Eve shifts.

Clive Feltell, of Cox’s Taxis said: “The meters are supposed to update automatically but didn’t which meant they didn’t show the fare increase which meant drivers lost money.”

Dave Patrick said the firm responsible for calibrating the machines contacted the council in May to warn then that the machines needed sorting before the festive period but nothing was arranged - until two days after Boxing Day.

“There has been serious issues with our meters,” he said and explained that on one trip he took a customer to the Light Cinema and the metre showed £6.50.

“We are allowed to charge double which would have shown £13. I actually charged £9 and gave a full explanation.

“This has been highly embarrassing to those working,” he said.

From 11pm to midnight on Christmas Day drivers can charge time and a half. Then from midnight on December 25 until midnight on Boxing Day they are allowed to charge double time.

Meters have an in built intelligent system that automatically updates to the different tariffs over all bank holiday periods.

But because meters they not been re-calibrated, which needs doing about once every four years, it left drivers unable to charge the higher rate.

Councillor Virginia Bucknor said drivers had contacted her by phone, email and Facebook to complain.

The supplier is unable to update meters without written authorisation from Fenland District Council, she said.

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