A SOUTHAMPTON taxi chiefs are split over calls to hike city cab fares.

The news comes after it was decided to increase fares in Fareham for the first time in ten years.

The decision was made after taxi drivers from the borough approached the council asking for the rise.

Now a Southampton driver wants an increase for Hackney carriages in Southampton.

Ian Hall, chair of the Southampton Hackney Association, said: “There should be an increase in Southampton, especially as the council want us to go over to hybrid cars [cleaner fuel].

“Uber has caused a problem to the trade, we now have a great deal of competition and it is a worry.

"A 20p rise like they have implemented in Fareham would be reasonable."

Currently Southampton customers are charged £2.80 for the first 110 meters and 20p for every additional 110 meters.

After 330 meters it costs 20p for each 295 meters thereafter.

A six mile journey currently costs £12.76.

But Clive Johnson, chair of Radio Taxis and Radio Drivers Association said:“ I don't think there should be an increase in fares in Southampton, we rely on the general public and if we start putting prices up they won't support our business."

Clive added: "Uber is the biggest problem and it’s crippling taxi drivers and our work ratio in Southampton has dropped considerably.

" I’m concerned for the future of taxi drivers.

"But a good customer relationship is key to making sure customers come back."

A spokesperson from Southampton City Council said: "We haven’t received any formal requests to review taxi fares at this time.

"Our licensing committee will consider reasonable proposals, as and when we are approached by taxi drivers or trades.”

Under the previous tariffs in Fareham, customers were charged £2.20 for an initial 190 metres and then 20p for every additional 190 metres.

Fareham customers will now be charged £2.40 for the first 180 metres and then 20p for 180 metres thereafter.

A six-mile journey which would have cost £12 will now cost £12.80.

According to Fareham Borough Council, the changes are set to come into effect from next Monday.