TAXI passengers are set to foot the bill for hackney carriage drivers' fuel as prices skyrocket.

Slough hackney fares could rise by about seven per cent if councillors sitting on the licensing committee approve officer recommendations on Thursday, March 24.

The Slough Taxi Federation has requested Slough Borough Council to increase the vehicle tariff in light of rises in running costs, such as fuel and insurance.

According to the RAC the average price for unleaded fuel in the UK on March 16 was £1.65 a litre and diesel was £1.76.

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Paramjit Badial, chairman of Slough Taxi Federation, said they haven’t seen an increase for the last nine years and are finding it difficult to run a taxi in today’s economic climate.

He said: “The drivers are finding it very difficult in making a living at the moment.”

Starting fares will now be £3.40 during the day or £5.40 between midnight and 5am for the first 250 yards and then an extra 20p for each additional 151 yards.

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Each adult passenger in excess of three people will cost an extra 40p. On Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day, this will cost an extra 60p.

A £50 charge will be placed on people who have “soiled” the taxi, making it unfit for immediate rehire. This will be increased by £25 on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day.

The council sets the hackney carriage fares but does not receive income from it. There are currently 104 licenced hackney vehicles and Slough Taxi Federation represents over 90 per cent of these drivers.