Soaring fuel costs are hitting taxi firms in the Burnham-On-Sea area hard, with one firm closing and several scaling back the number of their vehicles.
Dave Regan, pictured, who runs Burnham’s Saints Taxis, says: “The high price of fuel has hit us hard.”
“Fuel prices have been going up week after week while the rates that we charge stay the same as they are set by the council. Our rates were last increased in May 2019.”
“On top of that, we will probably lose some customers this year because of rising living costs. We know people are struggling.”
Several firms in the district have reduced their fleets of taxis to try and reduce costs and one local service has closed this year partially because of the rising costs.
Curtisee Cabs has closed after 25 years of business. The firm’s Lesley O’Brien says: “Costs were a contributor, in particular fuel, insurance and personnel costs.”
“This meant that in order to make the company profitable and viable I personally would need to increase my input but I was already working far beyond a ‘normal’ working week.”
“At my time in life I really couldn’t put more in, a new role caught my eye, and the decision felt ‘right’.”
“It was an extremely sad decision to make, one that I didn’t think I’d ever make, but after all it’s a business and anyone who responsibly runs a business watches the numbers and makes decisions around them.”
“It’s very tough times for the industry, people haven’t fully returned to their normal life patterns and the current costs are untenable.”
Dave Regan added that Somerset County Council has recognised the financial pressures on taxi firms and given a “small, but very welcome” uplift of two per cent on fees for those who operate school and public transport services.