THE OWNER of a Gwynedd-based taxi company says “there is no justification” as to why the county council are considering raising the set prices for fares by 20%.

Chris O’Neal, who is operations manager at Premier Cars in Bangor, has labelled Gwynedd Council’s plans to increase the flat rate of taxi’s from £3 to £3.60 “totally unacceptable”.

“I don’t see how these people can justify such a hike in the prices,” he said.

“If the plans go ahead then it could have a major effect on our business and several others in the city too.

“We at Premier provide taxi’s for locals who maybe want to only make a one mile trip down the road for their shopping. I don’t think it’s very fair to raise the prices for such short trips.”

Mr O’Neal, who lives in Llandegfan on Anglesey and is a former Councillor himself, added that the company would not be going ahead with the recommended increase if it was to be introduced in the coming months.

“Life in general has already become expensive enough for the locals living in the city,”

“If we carry on raising prices continuously like this then it’s going to get to the stage where only the rich can survive.”

A Gwynedd Council spokesperson responded by saying: “Taxi fares tend to be market-led, and companies do not always charge the maximum fare allowed.

“Following a request from the Gwynedd taxi industry, the Council’s General Licensing Committee will be considering possible options for increasing the maximum fare that hackney taxi drivers are allowed to charge customers.

“This would be the first change in maximum fares since 2011. This would not affect journeys in private hire vehicles.

“It is expected that a report will be considered by the Council’s General Licensing Committee in the coming weeks.”

Premier Cars, owned by Mr O’Neal’s wife, Cheryl, was established four years ago. It now employs 52 staff members.