Warning after reports of bogus taxis in towns

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A warning has been issued after reports of bogus taxis operating in Spalding and Long Sutton.

People looking to get a ride home after a night out are being told to double-check they are using a reputable firm to ensure they stay safe.

South Holland District Council has issued the warning after it received a number of reports of possible illegal activity by suspect taxis or private hire cars in the two towns and across the district.

These include posts on Facebook where businesses appear to have been offering lifts.

But a spokesman said neither members of the public or other legally-operating taxi drivers have been able to provide enough information about their suspicions for officers to pursue an investigation.

Coun Malcolm Chandler, portfolio holder for licensing, said: “We want the public to be vigilant and we want everyone to understand what to look for when they need a taxi or hackney carriage to take them safely home after a great night out.

“It is terrible to think that bogus taxi drivers still operate in towns and cities across the UK, especially as this will invalidate the driver’s insurance.

“However, people can be assured if they use vehicles licensed by the council, the necessary safety checks have been made.

“Because it’s a rural area, suspect drivers may think they can get away with it, but the public should be on their guard and not allow bogus operators to take advantage of them.”

Passengers should check the vehicle they plan to use has SHDC licence plates fitted.

Hackney carriages should have an illuminated taxi sign on top of the cab and a meter to calculate the fare.

The driver should also wear a licence badge and a table of fares should be displayed.

All private-hire taxis must be pre-booked and cannot be hailed from the street.

Anyone with concerns should take a note of registration number, make and model and report it to the licensing team on 01775 761161 or email licensing@sholland.gov.uk