Two men have been convicted for ‘plying for hire’ with vehicles that were not licensed as Hackney Carriages - and Burnley Council are urging people using taxis to be more vigilant.
Shakeel Abbas was convicted earlier this month. In April, he was making his vehicle, which was not a hackney carriage, available for hire on Manchester Road without journeys having been pre-booked. Abbas was disqualified from driving for three months and fined £160. He was also ordered to pay £200 costs and had eight penalty points put on his driving licence.
Waseem Gulzar was convicted on October 16th this year. His offences took place on Yorkshire Street and led to a fine of £315 plus £150 costs, with six penalty points added to his driving licence.
Burnley Council’s Licensing Enforcement Officer Stephen Hindle said: “Anyone thinking of using a private hire vehicle should pre-book the journey through an operator or call into the taxi rank offices. This ensures that a record is made of the journey and that the vehicle and driver can be later traced if the need arises.
“Simply getting into the first vehicle you come across could be dangerous – and it encourages those drivers who think they can get away with the illegal activity of pretending to be a legitimate private hire operator and drive you away uninsured. Doing this also deprives the legitimate companies of their business.
“We want people to travel safely and confidently.”