England

Fuel cost is 'crippling' Bristol taxi firms

Taxi drivers in Bristol claim the rising cost of fuel is "crippling" their business.

Shafiq Ahmed, the National Taxi Association spokesman for Bristol, said some of his members were not coping.

The price of unleaded petrol hit a new high at the start of March with an average price of 130p per litre.

Bristol City Council said a recent consultation over a 6% fare rise had not attracted any objections and would be implemented soon.

A spokesperson said it had "responded to requests" for fare rises from the business.

Oil prices have risen about 10% in the past month due to the unrest in the Middle East.

Mr Ahmed said because of rising prices it was becoming increasingly difficult to afford to run a taxi.

"Some of our members are going out of business. They just can't afford to run their vehicles," he said.

"We've done our best to absorb those costs as best we can because we understand that our customer base is going through hardship because of the recession."

A consultation on the fare rise closed on Tuesday and the council said it had received no objections or comments.

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