‘Check before you book a taxi”, says licensing chairman

Councillor Malcolm Chandler.
Councillor Malcolm Chandler.

People in South Holland who regularly use taxis and private hire vehicles are being urged to check that they are properly licensed before travelling in them.

The warning comes from Coun Malcolm Chandler, chairman of the district council’s licensing committee which is responsible for making sure that all taxis and licensed vehicles in South Holland go through a rigorous test annually.

The area’s licensing team is currently running a programme of inspections for every licensed vehicle to check that it is roadworthy and complying with the council’s vehicle and driver conditions.

Coun Chandler said: “There has been much national publicity in recent weeks about concerns over unlicensed taxis.

“In South Holland, we are fortunate that we have a generally high standard of licensed drivers and vehicles.

“However, we remain committed to ensuring that our taxis are roadworthy and the safety of the public is always our number one priority.“

Some of the checks people should carry out include making sure the vehicle displays a white or yellow council licence plate in the back window and internal window stickers, as well as a taxi roof box sign

Vehicles should also have a meter with a maximum fare set by the council, display a fare tariff card and be driven by council licensed drivers who have been vetted and are wearing a council licence photo badge that is clearly visible.

Coun Chandler said: “We are asking the public to be wary of unlicensed vehicles and to report them to us.

“Unlicensed vehicles and drivers not only present a risk to public safety but they also impact upon the legitimate operators.

“In addition, if you travel in an unlicensed vehicle as a paying passenger, the vehicle’s insurance is likely to be invalid.”