TAXI users will see a 10 percent fare increase - after Royal Borough drivers won their fight for a more sustainable income, writes James Bagley.

Passengers who use the borough’s licensed Hackney Carriages will now pay £6.38 for a two mile journey. The previous cost was £5.80.

Councillors on the Royal Borough's Licensing Panel agreed on Monday to allow the increase after Mohammed Naeem Sabir, speaking on behalf of the drivers, argued that the cost of living and petrol has gone up since the last tariff increase in 2016.

He said: “It’s getting more and more difficult for everyone to earn a living.

“It means working more hours than we’re supposed to, and our tariff does not reflect what we should be paid.”

Not all Hackney employees agreed as Mohammed Yasin, a driver for 25 years, argued raising fares would deter customers from using the service and encourage them to use their competitors like Uber instead.

Voting against the tariff rise, Councillor John Baldwin (Liberal Democrat, Belmont) said: “There was a time when people queued for the cabs, now the cabs queue for the people.

“If that’s the situation then, frankly, marginal changes to the tariffs aren’t going to help.”

At the same meeting councillors decided to review whether to impose an extra pound charge if a job involves three or more passengers to replace the previous system of making it an extra 20p per customer.

Councillors unanimously agreed to impose a six point penalty if drivers do not clearly display that no surcharges will be added if a passenger uses debit or credit card, while an email or phone number must be visible if a customer wants to report an issue.

The drivers also asked the borough to provide more taxi rank spaces as 40 across the Borough is was not enough to keep up with the increasing number of drivers since the cap of licenses was scrapped in 2012.