I THINK we can all get onboard with doing our bit to save the planet, be a responsible citizen and always try to do the right thing.

Being a grown up often means leaving the car behind, it's better for the environment and particularly when you expect to have a drink (even one). When you live in some of the more rural parts of our beautiful county, the availability of public transport is understandably compromised. So you have no option but to get a lift or take a taxi.

On Sunday, April 30, just after 11pm I jumped into a taxi at the bus station in Skipton and was dropped off less than 15 minutes later at the side of the main road at Coniston Cold. It's a journey of 7.5 miles. A 15 mile round trip for the taxi driver, that will have taken no more than 30 minutes to complete.

Three days later I'm still trying to rationalise the amount of money I was charged - £26.10. Twenty six pounds and ten pence! This is more than I had spent on the entire evening having drinks with friends. Whilst not quite daylight robbery (it was dark when I was going home), it does feel like the modern day equivalent of highway robbery. Who can afford to pay this on anything like a regular basis? I understand the new North Yorkshire Council is responsible for setting tariffs for taxi companies, and these are higher than the old Craven ones, but I'm guessing the taxi companies do have some discretion when choosing what to charge their customers. My suggestion is that they might want to reconsider these charges, or at the very least ask their drivers to start wearing little masks over their eyes and face, so that unassuming customers like me, get a sense of what they might be in for. I like to go out in Skipton, but I will certainly think twice next time or make a different plan to get home.


A Bell Busk resident


Response: North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for managing our environment, Cllr Greg White, whose portfolio includes licensing, said: “We need to ensure that all businesses, residents and visitors across North Yorkshire are subject to the same maximum fare, regardless of where they live, work or visit.

“Although the setting of taxi fares is not a statutory duty for the licensing authority, it is considered good practice and in the interests of passengers for us to do so. Our aim has been to strike a balance between a fare that is acceptable to the customer and the taxi driver.

“The fares are the maximum a driver may charge. It is important to stress that the tariff indicates the maximum fare. Drivers may charge less, if they wish.”

The council added, for example, that a two-mile journey within North Yorkshire would cost a maximum of £7.60 between 6am and 11pm. If the same journey took place between 11pm and 6am it would cost a maximum of £11.40.