Agreement reached over Metro taxi fares rise
TAXI fares will rise at a firm which has been at the centre of a long running dispute.
A meeting of about 400 Bolton taxi drivers was held by the Bolton Private Hire Association (BPHA) in Quebec Hall.
But the deal appears to have come at a price as the meeting was told that two Metro drivers, who were union members were forced to return their Metro radios — meaning they can no longer drive for the firm as part of the agreement.
A previous meeting between drivers and Metro at the Excellency banqueting suite in Lower Bridgeman Street descended into chaos when scuffles broke out and the police were called.
A strike was then held over the weekend but it was called off on Saturday night after an agreement was reached with Metro boss Nick Astley.
Waqas Riaz of BPHA told the meeting: “It has now been agreed that the fares will rise on September 18, to £2.30 for the first mile and £1.30 for every mile after that.”
Mr Riaz then asked members what should be done if the new fares are not introduced on that date and shouts of “strike” were heard across the hall.
Metro Cars has 500 mostly self-employed drivers. Its fares are cheaper than many of its rivals — its current mileage is £1.80 for the first mile and then £1.10 for subsequent miles.
In May, a strike was planned for the Spring Bank Holiday weekend but was called off after an agreement was reached to raise fares in September. At the time Metro said it had agreed to the raise fares if other firms also raised theirs.
But at the latest meeting, drivers heard Metro would be raising its fares regardless of what other firms decide.
It was also announced that fares for Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve would be charged at time and a half after midnight.
At the meeting Mr Riaz paid tribute to the two drivers who he said “made a sacrifice on behalf of other drivers”.
This sentiment was echoed by BPHA spokesman Usman Ahmed, he said: “I would like the whole of Bolton to know what these guys have done — hats off to them.”
Metro boss Nick Astley was unavailable for comment.
Comments are closed on this article.