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Delta Taxis combats “runners” with £20 pre-payment plan

An increase in customers “doing a runner” without paying their fares has forced Merseyside operator Delta Taxis to introduce a pre-payment rule for all journeys costing more than £20.

The Sefton private hire operator said it had been forced to bring the policy into play because of mounting challenges faced by drivers from “runners”.

A Delta spokesman said: “Drivers can estimate the fare in advance with a satnav, smartphone or operator assistance and request payment before setting off. In doing so drivers can therefore weed out everyone who is unable or unwilling to pay for longer journeys.”

After taking payment the drivers will still clock the price accurately during the journey and any cost adjustments will be made at the end of the journey.

The Delta spokesman added: “To minimise the risk of customers taking offence, we have provided stickers for drivers to all display on their dashboards.”

He added: “Whenever thieves walk away from journeys over £20 without paying it hits the driver hard. We don’t want to offset driver losses by charging honest customers more, so we tackle the problem head on.”

Delta said the police would not investigate petty crimes as they have far higher priority crimes to tackle. Delta had earlier introduced its own compensation scheme, but this had to be abandoned after proving impossible to police.

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