TAXI fares across Wychavon will increase for the first time in nine years in part by rising fuel costs.

A ‘standard’ two-mile journey in Wychavon will now rise by 15 per cent from £5.40 to £6.20 after a request by the district’s cab drivers was backed by councillors.

Late-night and Bank Holiday trips will also increase under the proposals.

The proposed increases will see basic tariffs rise to £4 for the first three-quarters of a mile with 20p charged for every subsequent 200 metres travelled up to the first 1,610 metres (one mile).

Wychavon District Council’s licensing committee backed the proposals which will then see fees rise by 20p for every 180 metres travelled thereafter.

Following the same structure, late-night tariffs from midnight to 7am, charges on Sundays, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve as well as other Bank Holidays will rise to £5.10 initially then rise in 30p increments.

The ‘third’ tariff will rise to £6.60 and 40p thereafter for journeys on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Green councillor Ed Cohen said the council should be “looking at the other side” and protecting taxi users as well as companies from rising costs and suggested a fare increase could be rejected in a bid to encourage more drivers to use electric cars.

The decision came following a request from Droitwich-based Blue Door Taxis’ Rob Day which said the rise in fees was needed to cover the rising cost of fuel.

“Our initial proposal reflected on being 2013 since the last increase, the rise in fuel, maintenance, insurance and associated costs and living costs,” the taxi company said.

“This coupled with domestic heating costs also, has left us with no option but to request that the fares be raised appropriately.”

The planned increases will now go out for public consultation and if no objections are made then the new tariffs could come into effect from May 6.