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Borough council defeats High Court challenge over calculation of taxi fares

Taxi 146x219Guildford Borough Council has successfully defended a High Court challenge to its decision to fix for 2016-2017 the maximum fares for hiring hackney carriages within the borough.

The decision, which involved a reduction in the fares previously chargeable, was to have had effect from 16 November 2016.

The claimant, Mark Rostron, was the secretary of the Guildford Hackney Association, an unincorporated association that seeks to represent the interests of taxi drivers in the Guildford area. He had been authorised by the association to bring this claim on their behalf.

The fares in issue were produced using a method of calculation which the claimant had not impugned. However, the decision setting the fares was impugned on the basis that it “was irrational and unreasonable as the [fares were calculated] based on flawed and outdated data”.

Guildford had used publicly available data to calculate the median wage for Guildford residents and to cover the average cabbie’s costs. The association had wanted the local authority to use Transport for London’s data on black cabs.

In Rostron v Guildford Borough Council [2017] EWHC 3141 Judge Howell rejected the challenge to the data used by the local authority.

He also dismissed a submission that the exercise of fare setting breached European principles of free movement.

See also: Fares fair – Philip Kolvin QC, counsel for Guildford BC, comments on the ruling

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