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Festive Taxi Enforcement Swoop for Ribble Valley

Published Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Three private hire drivers received penalty notices and two had their vehicles taken off the road during a swoop by council officers and police.

Licensing officers from Ribble Valley Borough Council have been out and about with the police and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency staff in swoops on taxis and private hire vehicles.

On-the-spot checks have been taking place throughout the borough to ensure vehicles are roadworthy, drivers properly licensed and licence conditions complied with.  

And further swoops throughout the festive period are on the cards.

Of six private hire vehicles flagged down, three accepted the fare, two declined and one was awaiting a legitimate booking. The three who accepted received on-the-spot penalty notices and risk prosecution if they do it again.

A further 10 vehicles were checked for unroadworthiness, with eight found to be satisfactory, one issued with an advisory notice requiring work to be carried out within four days and another with tyre tread below the legal limit withdrawn from use. The two found to be unroadworthy were prohibited from further use until repair works are carried out and a new MOT obtained.

Anyone found driving a private hire vehicle or hackney carriage without a valid licence or illegally plying for hire risks prosecution and those breaching licence conditions could see their licences suspended or revoked.

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s taxi enforcement officer, Carl Rung, said: “Maintaining a high standard of vehicles is something the council takes seriously and we carry out regular checks to ensure taxis and their drivers are meeting licensing requirements.  

“This was a joint operation, where vehicles were subject to rigorous on-the-spot inspections to ensure they were compliant with licensing conditions.

“These checks have helped to identify drivers flouting the law and ensure the safety and roadworthiness of licensed vehicles.”

Ribble Valley residents are reminded not to use unlicensed taxis or flag down private hire vehicles over the festive season and follow these steps to ensure a safe journey:

  1. “Yellow plate” private hire vehicles must be pre-booked. Only “blue plate” hackney carriages can be flagged down or hired from a taxi rank and it is illegal for private hire vehicles to pick up passengers in the street, unless they are pre- booked
  2. Check drivers are wearing identification badges that have not expired
  3. Check the identity of drivers against photographs on identification badges
  4. Check that cab licence plates at the back of vehicles or on the left-hand side of windscreens are in date
  5. Do not give personal details to drivers
  6. Agree private hire fees in advance with operators. Metred hackney cab fees are set by the council.

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s register of licensed operators, vehicles and drivers featuring the names of taxi licence holders, along with licence numbers, issue and expiry dates, and licence terms, is available at the Licensing and Law section of our website.

Members of the public can use the register to ensure drivers and vehicles are licensed, which means they will be safe, comfortable and roadworthy, and that drivers have a reasonable knowledge of the area, are medically fit and free from serious convictions.

Anyone who suspects a taxi firm of operating without a licence or a driver of driving without a licence, or using an unlicensed vehicle, is asked to contact the council’s licensing team on 01200 414411. 

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