Due to surge pricing and the ongoing Leeds taxi strike that btook place the standard fares on Uber trips increased.
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, standard fares into Leeds city centre doubled in some places.
A simple fare rate from Morley to Leeds railway station usually in the region of £10-13 rose to £23.
Similar fares also surged at peak times across the day of the stike on monday 17 January.
It came as taxi drivers across the city took to the streets to protest new laws, including the council's Suitability and Convictions policy introduced in 2020.
Drivers feel they are being "taken for granted" while being held to unfair standards that stand opposed to rules for drivers coming in from outside the city limits.
The strike, led by representatives of Leeds Private Hire Drivers Organisation, ran until the early hours of Tuesday morning.
In a statement provided to the YEP an Uber spokesperson stated: "The Uber app uses dynamic pricing to make sure that people can get a car when they need it.
"When a large number of people in a specific area are booking a trip at the same time and there aren’t enough available cars, fares automatically rise to encourage more drivers to go to the busy area. Users will always see a fare estimate in advance."
Racism, aggressive drunks and drug users, passed out customers and vomit are regular issues Leeds taxi and private hire drivers have to deal with.
Cabbies have spoken out about the horror they’ve faced and why they’re now feeling more vulnerable than ever before.
A 24-hour strike took place on Monday 17 January, with drivers refusing to work in opposition to a Leeds City Council safeguarding policy, organised by the Leeds Private Hire Drivers Organisation (LPHDO).
They claim the Suitability and Convictions Policy, which “protects the public”, means a driver could lose their licence over “minor issues”.
Leeds Live met drivers during the 24-hour strike in Burley Road Car Park and asked them about the harrowing situations they’ve been in which made them feel vulnerable.
“You don’t belong here, you’re not a Yorkshireman!” shouted one passenger to Zahid Mahmood last week, born and bred in Bradford, who’s been a cabbie for about 24 years.
At the time, there were eight passengers in the car, and Zahid just wanted to concentrate on getting them “from A to B” without any further issues.
“The abuse we take every night is unbelievable,” said Zahid, LPHDO Vice Chairman, who adds they also receive racist slurs on a regular basis.
Zahid says the abusive behaviour is regular but “the worst thing is when they throw up in the car,” which means a driver can’t work for the rest of the night as they need to get it professionally cleaned.
The father-of-four said this happened at least once a week, with many of the other drivers in attendance agreeing.
Zahid went on to say: “Many times, we pick up customers that are drunk, you take them to their destination and by the time they get there, they’ve fallen asleep.
“If it’s a young vulnerable female, you can’t do anything – you can’t even try to wake her up. All you can do is try to shout out loud and if they don’t wake up, what are you supposed to do then?
“According to the suitability policy, if she makes a claim that we’ve touched her in any kind of way, that’s it, our badge is gone.”
The cabbie added that he regularly finds small plastic bags, those used for drugs, and metal canisters, used for laughing gas, rattling around in his taxi.
LPHDO Chairman, Ahmad Hussain, has paid over £600 to get CCTV in his taxi, to protect himself in dicey situations.
Ahmad said he’s “only been assaulted with a few punches on top of the head,” these incidents paling in comparison to other stories he's heard.
Ahmad said: “The worst is when they’re drunk and they get in the taxi and you don’t want to take them. All of a sudden, you’re a P*** - straightaway.
“The customers bully you to do what they want to do. Like park on a double yellow line, go through a no-entry sign. They bully these sorts of things and force you. If you don’t obey them, you could get assaulted.”
Another striking driver said he recently felt vulnerable picking up football fans up from Elland Road and driving them to all the way to Pontefract.
He claimed the boozed-up fans disagreed with his route and called him racist slurs, badgering him about where he was from.
“Put yourself in my position, you’ve got four big lads in the car. Leeds have lost the match. You’re taking them to an area which you don’t have a clue about,” he said.
With the situation growing increasingly intense, he stopped the car and told them to leave.
He claimed they called him a “P***” and a “black b******” and punched his car.
Leeds City Council has previously said the Suitability and Convictions Policy is essential as the local authority is “entitled and bound to treat the safety of the public as the paramount".
But what about the safety of the taxi and private hire drivers?
Angus taxi fares could be facing a hike for the first time in four years.
A review of rates has been launched after a failed bid to put the brakes on the review until after Scottish council elections in May.
According to The Courier, it is less than six months since Angus councillors decided there shouldn’t be a price hike. But civic licensing committee councillors agreed another review should take place.
Council legal manager David Thompson said: “We’ve had representations from the trade. They highlight what I think everyone in the meeting already knows – that there have been significant increases in costs.”
Committee vice-convener Richard Moore said: “If taxi drivers are having a difficult time now, I don’t want to wait until May/June time to start the process.
"We can start the process and leave the decision to the incoming civic licensing committee.”
Taxi fares in Guernsey have increased from 17 January following a public consultation.
The maximum increase of 3.34% comes after a recent proposal was backed by the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure.
The last hike in fares was meant to be in January 2020. But it was agreed that the taxi federation would not implement 0.7% increase in 2020 as it was below 1%.
The latest rise is therefore a combination of increases from the last two years.
These figures have been calculated in accordance with an established taxi inflation index, known as the ‘Halcrow Formula’ which takes into account taxi operating costs and earnings.
In practical terms the increases are: • A 2.0 mile journey on Tariff 1* would increase by 20p from £7.10 to £7.30 • A 2.0 mile journey on Tariff 2** would increase by 40p from £9.90 to £10.30 • The minimum fare will remain at £4.50 and there will be no increase in the baggage charge of 20p per item.
There will be more frequent safeguarding tests for cab drivers, while cars used as taxis on the Isle of Wight can be older than before, as long as they are electric.
According to the County Press, the changes were recently given the green light by leading Isle of Wight Council cabinet members.
Under the new rules, taxi drivers will sit a safeguarding exam every two years - including learning to identify passengers who are in trouble.
The current system has already required an enhanced DBS since 2016.
Training will include spotting and reporting issues such as trafficking and abuse, and drugs-linked ‘County Lines’ activity.
Councillor Ian Stephen, Cabinet lead for community protection, said: “The main aim of the taxi licensing policy is public safety and firming up safeguarding training, which already takes place, in this policy.
“These moves will make sure vulnerable and at-risk members of the public continue to be looked after safely and any concerns raised with the appropriate agency.”
Under the previous rules, the maximum age of a car when applying for a new licence was three years.
This has now been extended to up to five years for electric vehicles.