WILTSHIRE Council has ruled out a separate lower taxi tariff scheme for Salisbury.

It comes as county chiefs have asked Wiltshire’s taxi drivers to come up with their own new county-wide tariff scheme.

However, some city businesses and councillors believe that having one tariff, including a standard late night charge, is “not fair” and is “putting drivers in the city at a disadvantage”.

Some connected to Salisbury’s night life also claimed that having a lower tariff rate to the rest of the county would draw more punters in.

But Wiltshire Council this week confirmed its plans to keep a single tariff in place.

In response, Salisbury councillor Atiqul Hoque said that while the rest of the county approves of a standard tariff, drivers in Salisbury want more flexibility.

He said: “The Wiltshire tariff is a concern for the late night economy in Salisbury. “The fundamental difference is everybody else is happy with the one tariff apart from in Salisbury.”

According to Wiltshire Council, the county currently uses a five-tariffs system which sees drivers charge a maximum £2 for every mile and rising to £3 after 10.30pm and £4 a mile after 2.30am.

However, these tariffs have been slammed by city taxi company All The Sevens - which itself uses a separate payment system.

Its director Gary Taylor said: “The problem lies with Wiltshire Council and the stupidly high tariffs they have set.

“We still operate on the old three-tariff system, which is day time, night time, and a separate tariff for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.

“The council set a five-tariff system, whereby independent taxi drivers in the taxi rank can charge higher prices. They are not doing anything wrong, because its within the system, but people coming out of a nightclub in Salisbury wouldn’t always think to phone a taxi company, they just go to the first cab on the rank and may end up getting charged more.”

He added: “I do feel sorry for the people of Salisbury, and its late night economy, because they and it are suffering.

“These independent drivers, and again they are not doing anything wrong, are charging hugely inflated prices, especially after 2.30am.”

Trade representatives have until December 10 to put forward a new proposal for taxi charges in Wiltshire.

Visit: wiltshire.gov.uk