North West Leicestershire District Council is warning drivers of unlicensed taxis to stay away from next month’s Download Festival.
The warning comes after the District Council obtained a conviction at Leicester Magistrates Court against a driver found plying for hire at the 2012 Download Festival at Castle Donington.
Council Enforcement Officers, who patrol the festival each year, were asked by the driver, Assim Hussain Taj, 26 years, of North Street, Forest Field, Nottingham, if they needed a taxi. Mr Taj, was found guilty of using a vehicle as a taxi without a licence and using a vehicle without insurance.
Mr Taj was fined £100 for plying for hire and £100 fine for no insurance as well as being given 6 penalty points. This resulted in him being disqualified for driving for 6 months.
This is the second successful prosecution by the District Council against unlicensed drivers following last year’s event.
Councillor Alison Smith, North West Leicestershire District Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services said, “It is important to protect festival goers from unscrupulous operators who may not have undergone any of the safety checks. They may also be driving vehicles that have not had any safety inspections. Download Festival goers need to be confident that their safety is not being compromised.
“Unlicensed operators would do well to stay away from this year’s festival because if they are caught we will prosecute. All drivers caught plying for hire will have invalidated their insurance and will always be prosecuted. The two recent convictions show that the District Council regard unlicensed drivers as a danger to the public and detecting and prosecuting such offenders remains a high priority for us.”
A representative from LiveNation, who organises the Download Festival, said: “We fully support North West Leicestershire District Council’s licensing enforcement officers who will be on duty preventing any unauthorised taxis touting for business during the event. We would urge festival goers to steer clear of these rogue taxis, which are operating illegally and offer little or no protection to those who use them.”
The Download Festival is being held at Donington Park, Leicestershire between 12 – 17th June. North West Leicestershire District Council’s licensing enforcement officers will again be on duty preventing any unauthorised taxis touting for business during the event.