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Taxi drivers obtain High Court injunction in bid to stop council reducing fares

Taxi drivers in Guildford have secured a High Court injunction to prevent the council imposing what they said would be a 16% cut in fares.

The injunction suspends the change pending a decision on whether the dispute can be taken to judicial review.

A Guildford Borough Council spokeswoman said: “We received an order from the High Court to suspend the reduction in taxi fare charges due to be implemented on 16 November 2016.

“We will comply with the order and suspend implementation of the new fares until the High Court has considered the application for permission for judicial review. We have received papers for the application and we are currently considering our response.”

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Taxi fares were set annually according to methodology approved by its executive, on which the taxi trade had been consulted, the spokeswoman said, adding the proposed reduction was in part due to the decrease in the price of fuel.

This is the second recent dispute between the council and the borough’s cab drivers.

The council said Redhill Magistrates Court last July dismissed a case brought by a driver its policy that all cabs must be painted a specific shade of blue amounted to a condition and should be removed from his licence.

He then took the case to Guildford Crown Court, which dismissed the appeal on the grounds that the council was entitled to set this policy.

Guildford said it was awarded £4,500 costs payable in three months in addition to the £4,500 awarded at the Magistrates Court.

Graham Ellwood, lead councillor for licensing and community safety, said: “I am pleased with the outcome of this hearing.

“We are now keen to move on from dealing with challenges to the policy. These challenges divert the council from other important work to help taxi drivers and cause delays to implementing policy to raise standards and protect the travelling public.”

Mark Smulian

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