Tax payers will have to subsidise Northampton taxis unless licence fees rise

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Fees to renew the licences of hackney and private hire cars are to rise from this week, despite complaints from the drivers.

Northampton Borough Council has been forced into the move by new laws stating that black cab and private hire drivers have to buy a licence to cover three years, rather than just one.

A report by senior licensing officer Louise Faulkner said, although there were several complaints from the 450 drivers responded to a consultation last month, the council had little alternative.

She said: “If no action is taken there is a risk that the authority will receive less income from the Hackney and Private Hire Trade and the service will be subsidised by the taxpayer.”

The drivers will be asked to pay an extra £90 each, which some complained was too high.

But the council report shows that keeping the fees the same would see a further shortfall of about £67,000.

Mrs Faulkner said: “Any delay with implementing the new fee will result in a loss of income.”

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