The manager of a taxi company has vowed to ignore prices clocked up by meters which will be installed into his cabs next week.

From Monday the district's Hackney carriages - taxis which can be hailed on the street - are to be fitted with the meters, which will also charge a higher rate tariff - tariff two - after 10pm and on Sundays.

But Aaron Fitock, manager of Elite Cabs in Epping High Street, said other taxi firms, which do not have to use meters, would not have such restrictions on fares imposed upon them.

He said: “Tariff two is a joke. It’s an absolute rip-off and personally we will not charge that.

"Our competitors have gone to private hire so the new maximum rate doesn’t affect them.”

But taxi users the Guardian spoke to today said they supported the new tariffs which, they said, would give passengers a clear idea of exactly how much they were being charged.

Sophia Willingale, 80, of Leonard Davis House in Kiln Road, North Weald, said: “At least you know when you get out it will cost you that amount.

"At the moment depending on the driver it varies, not a lot, but about 50p.

"The only trouble is that if you get caught in traffic it’s going to cost more and road works can add up to 30 minutes to a journey.”

Iris De Ware, 83, who lives in Broadoaks House, in Broadoaks, Epping, said: “Prices are very fair at the moment but I don’t object to the changes, taxi drivers have got to earn their living.”

The Epping Forest Guardian is awaiting comment from Epping Forest District Council.