BLACK cab taxi drivers in Oxford are facing the brunt of record high petrol prices.

The average UK price of petrol hit 142.94p a litre on Sunday, beating the former record, set in April 2012, by 0.46p.

With taxi fares set by Oxford City Council, cab drivers cannot increase tariffs without first getting approval from the council.

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City of Oxford Licensed Taxicab Association (Colta), which represents the drivers of Oxford's iconic black cab, says drivers have been impacted by the high fuel prices but a rise in fares would be unfair for customers.

Sajad Khan, secretary of Colta said: "We have to propose a fare increase and we have to get that approved by the council otherwise we can't get it - it's a long-winded process for us.

"The system at the moment with the fare increase and how it's kept in such a way is a good system because this way there's no room for an unduly/unfair tariff increase which could damage our customer base.

Oxford Mail: Secretary of Colta Sajad KhanSecretary of Colta Sajad Khan

"With the fuel prices in mind it's important to highlight this even though the fuel price increase is having a huge impact on trade and the drivers as we're seeing a significant impact on the mileage we do and the fuel we have to put in." 

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There are 107 black cabs in Oxford however some are not yet back on the road after Covid. 

Mr Khan said despite the high fuel prices, maintaining a good relationship with customers is a priority.

He added: "We care about our customers - we don't want to lose our customers.

"On the one hand fuel prices are increasing, but we don't want to increase the tariff at a time when the economoy is just beginning to see some normality and we increase the sale and then it would impact customers.

"So we have to be very cautious with regards to the fare. But the fuel prices are impacting us - we have to put more money in for less mileage."

Oxford Mail: Secretary at Colta Sajad KhanSecretary at Colta Sajad Khan

Taxi firms in Oxford struggled a month ago when the country faced a fuel shortage with some drivers running out of fuel. Mr Khan says the current high petrol prices is just another difficulty black cab drivers are facing.

He said: "The trade is always facing challenges, whether it's to do with access to certain routes in the city centre, or fuel shortages or the price of the fuel. We have to be on the road, we have to earn a living and our vehicles need fuel. So it's a difficult time at the moment but we have to just do our best."

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