Ask anyone which city has the most expensive taxis in central Scotland and you can be sure of the reply – Edinburgh, everyone will confidently tell you.
But a typical city centre journey is actually cheaper in the Capital’s black cabs than in their Glasgow counterparts, a new report has highlighted.
Edinburgh stands 198th out of 370 local authority areas in the UK when it comes to the most expensive journeys, the report by industry ‘bible’ Private Hire and Taxi Monthly found. The study compared fares for a two-mile journey, based on four passengers sharing a black cab.
The league table shows that Edinburgh behind Glasgow, which features at 162nd on the list, and East Lothian (20th) and Midlothian (83rd).
Taxis in the Capital charge a fee of £5.60 for a two-mile journey, the same as West Lothian.
Whereas the equivalent fare in Glasgow would set a passenger back £5.80.
East Lothian is the most expensive Scottish area at £6.80 for the same trip.
The survey did not include the cost of journeys by private hire cars or longer journeys.
“No doubt these results will surprise many people and help dispel the myth that Edinburgh taxi fares are amongst the highest in the country,” said Les McVay, company secretary at City Cabs.
“Edinburgh is a very dynamic world-class city and tourism destination.
“It might not always be realised but we have what is arguably the best taxi fleets in the whole of the UK. The fact that the Edinburgh taxi trade has maintained this high standard while working within very competitive restraints is a testament to the Edinburgh trade itself and its commitment to our customers.”
Mr McVay, whose firm has just launched a student discount card and a Cab Assist discount card for passengers with mobility problems, added: “I am strongly of the view that Edinburgh provides a high quality and safe passenger experience at a very competitive price.”
When Uber lost its licence to operate in London recently, attention turned to the taxi industry which had campaigned against the tech giant.
The decision sparked calls for a probe into Uber’s working practices from black cab drivers across Edinburgh.
However, council bosses say there are no plans to review the operating licence for the private hire firm before its licence expires in March 2019.
Transport for London cited a number of incidents as their reasons for denying the licence, including its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and how it carries out background checks on its drivers. The firm was given just a four-month temporary licence to operate in London in May following concerns by the Metropolitan Police over a lack of driver regulation.