Cabbies spot-checked for compliance

People travelling by taxi in the run-up to Christmas are advised that the council has been spot-checking drivers for compliance.

Published: Tuesday, 11th December 2018

Cherwell District Council licensing officers and Thames Valley Police traffic officers stopped 38 cars in Banbury and Bicester on the nights of Friday, 7 and Saturday, 8 December. They were pleased to find that 85 per cent of drivers were properly following the conditions of their licences. However, three drivers had their licences suspended.

The suspensions were for: a non-roadworthy tyre, incorrect display of a licence plate and a missing roof light. The operation was run as part of the Departure Zone campaign, which focusses on keeping members of the public safe on festive nights out, and in support of the National Police Chiefs' Council Christmas and New Year Drink Drive Campaign.

Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s executive member with responsibility for licensing, said: “We are pleased that the vast majority of our taxi drivers are offering a safe and accountable service to their passengers. However, the fact that we have just suspended three licences shows that we take breaches of conditions extremely seriously and will take enforcement action wherever necessary.

“We advise people travelling by taxi in our district to check that the vehicle is carrying a white or green council plate to the rear and that the driver is displaying his photo ID inside the car. They can then enjoy their journey in the knowledge that their driver has been through our rigorous checks and training.”

Council officers checked that the vehicles’ plates matched the drivers’ registration documents and that the latter were up to date. They also ensured that hackney meters were sealed and roof lights switched on.

Officers also offered advice to drivers on a range of other faults. These included no-smoking signs, a faulty front bumper and minor faults with indicator lights. The council plans to run further spot-checking operations at regular intervals over the coming months.

The Departure Zone roadshow continues on Friday, 14 December in Sheep Street, Bicester and on Saturday, 15 on Parsons Street and Market Place in Banbury. Council and police officers will be offering freebies and tips on topics such as illegal tobacco, drinks spiking, and the dangers of underage drinking.