Lancaster City Council warn revellers about illegal taxis

As the festive season approaches Lancaster City Council is reminding revellers to consider their personal safety when using taxis.

Lancaster City Council are warning revellers about illegal taxis.
Lancaster City Council are warning revellers about illegal taxis.

Many people will be using taxis to get home after a night out with friends or an office party – but is the vehicle you’re getting in licensed?

If it’s not then the person behind the wheel won’t have undergone the necessary stringent tests that all licensed taxi drivers and their vehicles have to go through.

All drivers that are licensed by Lancaster City Council have undergone a Disclosure and Barring Service check, medical examination, completed a licensed driver NVQ or equivalent and specialist driving test to ensure that they are 'fit and proper persons' to be transporting members of the public.

In addition, all vehicles licensed in Lancaster are inspected to ensure that they’re safe and roadworthy. Unlicensed taxis haven’t gone through these tests and should therefore not be used.

Councillor Colin Hartley, chairman of the council's Licensing Committee said: “Thankfully reports of illegal trading are rare but do happen on occasion so we’re asking people to stay safe and always double check that the taxi they are using is properly licensed. The council inspects all of the taxis it licences to ensure that they were roadworthy and free of defects. Unlicensed taxis haven’t undergone these checks and won’t be insured in the event of an accident.”

Hackney Carriages are authorised to ply for hire on the streets or pick up passengers from designated taxi ranks. Passengers are advised to check for the following:

• A blue and white licence plate is affixed to the rear of the vehicle showing the make, model, registration, expiry date and seating capacity in black characters.

• An illuminated roof sign

• Blue council door signs with the wording ‘Lancaster City Council Hackney Carriage’ in white characters, together with the plate number

• That the driver is displaying his/her identity badge issued by Lancaster City Council. The badge will show a photograph of the driver, together with the holder’s name, licence number and expiry date.

Private Hire Vehicles are not authorised or insured to pick up passengers unless a prior booking has been made with the company operating the vehicle. Having pre-booked the private hire vehicle passengers are advised to check for the following before getting into a vehicle:

• A green licence plate is affixed to the rear of the vehicle showing the make, model, registration, expiry date and seating capacity in black characters. A smaller plate will be attached to the front of the vehicle showing the vehicle registration number and the taxi licence number.

• Door signs in yellow with the wording `Lancaster City Council Private Hire Pre-Booked Journeys only’ in black characters.

• That the driver is displaying his/her identity badge issued by Lancaster City Council. The badge will show a photograph of the driver, together with the holder’s name, licence number and expiry date.

• Many Private Hire Operators send text reminders when a pre-booked vehicle is dispatched and waiting, always request a reminder when making a booking and check the licensed vehicle details contained in the message meet those of vehicle in front of you.

Any complaints or compliments about a vehicle or driver should be made to Lancaster City Council’s Licensing Office, Morecambe Town Hall, Morecambe LA4 4AF or by telephoning on 01524 582033 or emailing [email protected]