Taxis fail Lancaster City Council spot checks

Taxis in the Lancaster district were subject to spot checks.
Taxis in the Lancaster district were subject to spot checks.

Council officers issued more than 80 defect notices to taxi drivers during a day of unannounced spot checks.

Lancaster City Council’s Licensing Enforcement Officers joined forces with the police and staff from the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) last week to undertake an unannounced inspection of local taxis.

The joint licensed vehicle inspection, which took place over two days and without prior notice, was carried out at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre.

The aim of the inspection was to ensure that the district’s fleet of taxis and private hire vehicles are safe, suitable and roadworthy and maintained to an acceptable standard.

Over the two days, police officers and council licensing officers worked alongside representatives from DVSA and HMRC’s road fuel testing unit to check 160 vehicles which had been signposted to the test site by the police and taxi operators.

Over the two days, 86 defect notices were issued, of which 47 have been cleared to date. In addition, eight suspensions were issued, of which seven have been cleared so far.

The majority of defects were in relation to fire extinguishers and first aid kits. The items were either insufficient, out of date or not fit for purpose. A handful of vehicles were required to be fully valeted, and a small number had more serious defects including bald tyres, faulty doors, illegally tinted windows and mechanical faults.

Coun Andrew Warriner, cabinet member for environmental health, said: “The safety and welfare of the taxi travelling public is of paramount importance to us which is why we are committed to ensuring that all operators, vehicles and drivers meet the required standards and that they are operating within the law.

“One-off unannounced taxi inspections is a good example of the sort of effective proactive work being carried out by our licensing officers in the interests of public protection.”