Struggling taxi drivers in Argyll have refused the opportunity to increase fare prices for fear it will drive more customers away.
Every year the council’s licensing committee meets to discuss the potential of allowing drivers the chance to put up their charges.
And this year all 133 taxi operators of the view that the market was so depressed fares should stay put – unless something happened to make fuel prices jump substantially.
Representatives from Cowal, Oban and Kintyre reported that business is so poor that many operators are already discounting the maximum fares to customers.
Taxi drivers from three Oban firms were all in agreement yesterday that prices should not go up.
Fraser Galt of Lorn Taxis said: “Business is terrible so putting the fares up would be a bad idea. It has not been good at all.
“January and February are always quiet but it has been poor all year.
“There is a case for putting them up because the price of fuel goes up all the time, but if they did that, that would ruin it all together. Putting the prices up would put customers right off.
“No-one has got any money. Its the recession, Brexit, people are just worried.”
Robert Gibson, MG Taxis, said: “Quite right not increasing the fares, because it is very quiet.
“It has been like this for a good while. I don’t have a reason for it, I don’t know. Maybe it is because people are going abroad more on their holidays.
“If the fares went up it would just die a death totally. It would just kill it.
“I can go back 30 odd years, and I was making double what I am now.”
Jimmy Johnston, Oban Taxis, said: “Leave it as it is. Business is very quiet just now. I have been a taxi driver in Oban for more than 30 years. I was making more money 30 years ago than I am now.
“The money is just not about at all. If they put the prices up, our wages would go down.”