MINIMUM taxi fares are set to double as Royal Borough cabbies say they ‘cannot go on’ as costs of fuel and living rise.

Councillors sitting on the licensing panel approved the hackney carriage driver’s request to raise the minimum fare from £3 to £6.

The tariff from 11pm to 6am and Bank Holidays was also increased from £4.50 to £9, the luggage fee was doubled to 40p, and charging a 50 per cent surcharge above the standard rate for people carriers carrying five or more passengers.

Nearly 100 licensed drivers operate within the Royal Borough and nearly 80 cabbies signed a petition, saying the £3 minimum fare is “completely unreasonable” amid soaring costs and want to be in line with their competitors, such as Uber.

READ MORE: Windsor & Maidenhead taxi drivers demand fare increase as fuel prices rise

They also say these increases will “go a long way” in meeting soaring costs.

Speaking at the meeting on Tuesday, June 5, hackney carriage representative Mohammed Naeem Sabir said: “With a petition signed by the drivers, there is growing demand from drivers that this tariff rise is essential.

“From drivers having two jobs to make ends meet, this is the stark situation we find ourselves in.”

Meanwhile, taxi driver Mohammad Yasin said about 40 drivers have already quit, and “many more” are thinking about leaving the industry as they can’t make a living.

“They just find another job [because] they can’t feed their family,” he said.

READ MORE: Maidenhead's 'secret' cinema showing Top Gun and Elvis

Drivers are also required to display a minimum fare £6.00 sticker inside their vehicles.

Councillors approved the hackney carriage drivers’ request but warned them to be careful not to “price themselves” out of the competitive market as people have choices, such as minicabs and Uber.

Supporting the application, Cllr Geoff Hill (TBFI: Oldfield) said drivers have “no choice” but to increase their charges as costs continue to spiral.

He said: “I suspect they [taxi drivers] have got their pricing right as they’ve been at it for many, many years.

“The cost of living is going up. We’re all getting hit somewhere and to a greater or lesser extent, people can afford it or not afford it but a lot of families are getting squeezed and that’s very apparent when reading the news.”