TAXI fares from Royal Ascot to destinations within the Royal Borough will go up by 50 per cent this June.

This could mean a fare from the event to Windsor increases by more than £10.

Councillors confirmed the move after taxi drivers complained about the ‘45 minute to an hour’ drive to get back to Ascot Racecourse taxi rank after returning from another journey.

According to a council report, if drivers take a passenger a short distance they will “not make a reasonable return from that fare” given the time it takes to return to the rank.

One taxi driver, who has been taking racegoers back and forth from Ascot for ten years, told councillors the current rates drivers are allowed to charge was “not sufficient enough”.

He added: “It doesn’t reflect what we should be charging them. This is a race that comes once in the calendar year and for us it’s a big thing as we can make money from this.”

A number of councillors got behind the plans after hearing taxi drivers make their points, with councillor Hari Sharma saying: “I’ve been in this area long enough – I know there is a real difficulty when you pick up passengers from Ascot and bring back to either Maidenhead or Windsor.”

Drivers will only be able to charge the increased rate from the designated rank and some councillors voiced their concerns about potential arguments between visitors and drivers.

Cllr John Bowden said: “I think it’s going to cause annoyance to the individuals there and there will have to be a police officer there to deal with the forthcoming problems of the cost.”

Despite this, councillors voted for the changes, which will be subject to a two-week consultation period first

Residents can send letters of objection or support to the council in this period, but should no objections be received, the plans would come into force in time for this year’s Royal Ascot, which runs from June 18 to June 22.

Increased fares will be introduced on a trial basis at first, with feedback being reviewed by Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) councillors in July before a decision is made on whether to carry on with the price hike.