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Transport / Rising fuel prices prompt review of taxi fares

THE BASE rate for taxi fares in Shetland could increase by 50p amid concern over the significant rise in fuel costs.

A new suggested base rate for the first three quarters of a mile of £4.50 and £5 overnight – up from £4 and £4.50 – is set to go out to consultation if councillors approve the proposals next week.

The cost per mile after that could also increase by 40p.

For the festive period the base rate is proposed to increase by 75p and 60p per mile after. Excursion rates are also in line to increase by £10 an hour.

A report to councillors says the taxi sector was keen for a review of charges to be held as quickly as possible.

Some unleaded fuel prices in Lerwick yesterday (Thursday) were showing above £1.80 per litre. The invasion of Ukraine earlier this year at the hands of Russia – a prominent oil and gas producer – has seen prices rise.

Taxi tariff changes have already been discussed with operators, but they will go out for a formal consultation if councillors give to go-ahead.

While fuel prices are a factor, it has been three years since the taxi tariffs were last changed.

A review was launched in 2020, but it was paused due to the Covid pandemic, and the industry did not want any changes when the process was restarted last year.

The process could take a number of months before new tariffs are imposed – with a timeline suggesting they would come into effect on 14 October.