THE Cowdenbeath taxi driver who complained about the rise in fares which is coming into play in December made some very salient points on how the increase could affect his and colleagues' trade.

The stats put the services in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area in the region of being the second most expensive in Scotland.

This, of course, is not through the choice of the taxi businesses in Fife but through the local council's changes.

However, the fact that the local driver is seriously concerned underlines the situation that Fife taxi companies will be among the dearest in Scotland in communities that are well below affluent levels.

The Cowdenbeath driver indicated that a fair percentage of daytime business was mostly senior citizens wanting assistance to get home from superstores such as Morrisons or Aldis.

They prefer using a taxi as it gets them right to their door, whereas a bus might leave them a distance to walk which might prove challenging.

The driver contended that the December increase could persuade pensioners to use the bus and turn their back on taxis which would seriosuly affect trade.

The fares rise will clearly be something that is set to affect all local taxi operators but it is also going to ask questions for local pensioners who operate on tight budgets. Do they spend that extra pound on transport to their door or do they get a bus and walk, a difficult one in mid winter.