Taxi enforcement officers at Ribble Valley Borough Council joined forces with the police, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and HM Revenue and Customs in a swoop on unroadworthy vehicles.
Thirty vehicles were targeted in a late-night inspection at taxi ranks in Clitheroe.
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s taxi enforcement officer, Carl Rung, said: “Maintaining a high standard of vehicles is something we take seriously and we carry out regular checks to ensure taxis and their drivers are meeting licensing requirements.
“This was a joint-operation with the police, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and fuel inspectors from HM Revue and Customs, where vehicles were subject to a rigorous inspection to ensure they were compliant with licence conditions.”
“Of the 30 vehicles inspected, 24 were found to be of the required standard.
“The drivers of two vehicles were served with prohibition notices requiring them to withdraw their vehicles from operation immediately, and four drivers were served with advisory notices requiring work to be carried out on their vehicles within seven days of being issued.”
Mr Rung added: “The council requires the immediate withdrawal of hackney carriage or private hire vehicles constituting a risk to public safety, or work carried out to ensure the vehicles are of a high standard.
“Although two vehicles were found to be unroadworthy, we are delighted that most were of an excellent standard.”
Ribble Valley revellers are being reminded not to use unlicensed taxis or flag down private hire vehicles over the Christmas period.
And Ribble Valley Borough Council has issued the following tips to help taxi-users have a safe festive journey:
l “Yellow plate” private hire vehicles must be pre-booked. Only “blue plate” hackney carriages can be flagged down or hired from a taxi rank and it is illegal for private hire vehicles to pick up passengers in the street, unless they are pre- booked.
l Check drivers are wearing identification badges that have not expired.
l Check the identity of drivers against photographs on identification badges.
l Check that cab licence plates at the back of vehicles or on the left-hand side of windscreens are in date.
l Don’t give personal details to drivers.
l Agree private hire fees in advance. Metred hackney cab fees are set by the council.
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s register of licensed premises, vehicles and drivers featuring the names of taxi licence holders, along with licence numbers, issue and expiry dates, and licence terms, is available on the council’s web site.
Members of the public can use the register to ensure vehicles are licensed, which means they will be safe, comfortable and roadworthy, and that drivers have a reasonable knowledge of the area, are medically fit and free from serious convictions.
Anyone who suspects a taxi firm of operating without a licence or a driver of driving without a licence, or using an unlicensed vehicle, is asked to make a note of the vehicle’s licence number and contact the council’s licensing team on 01200 414411.