Taxi drivers in Stoke-on-Trent hit out at rogue cabbies after council crackdown

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Taxi drivers in Stoke-on-Trent have blamed rogue cabbies for giving them a bad name.

They hit out after Stoke-on-Trent City Council trading standards caught a number of drivers picking up fares illegally in the city.

They targeted taxi drivers on a busy student night between 11pm and 2am.

They stopped 12 taxis and two of them were found to have picked up fares illegally.

City Cabs driver John Minshall, 45, said he wasn’t surprised at some picking up illegal fares.

“It’s the nature of the area we are in,” he added.

“There is not enough work to go round and there are too many taxis so it’s going to happen.”

Drivers break their licence conditions by picking up illegal fares which also means passengers are not insured.

Mr Minshall added: “Taxi drivers have a really bad image and a lot of that comes from people acting illegally, picking up illegally and overcharging.”

He also said the city council should employ more people and consider running a campaign to educate people on the difference between the two types of taxis.

“They should manage it more actively and minimise this kind of situation, but the public have to be more aware and educated.”

Wayne Casey, of the National Taxi Association, said: “Any private hire driver found to be illegally plying for hire should in in the opinion of the association have their private hire drivers licence revoked.”

The city council licensing committee meets weekly to review licences and they also have the power to revoke licences if appropriate.

Cllr Randy Conteh, cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, said: “The inspections are also to serve as a sharp reminder that operators must obey the terms of their licence.

“Licensing conditions are there to protect drivers and passengers.

“The drivers who illegally picked up passengers are now having the terms of their licences reviewed.”

Staffordshire Police Insp Neil Sherratt  said the force is committed to improving the safety of their communities and illegal taxi drivers will not be tolerated.

 

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