Saturday, March 15, 2014

Man jailed after machine gun and bullets are recovered from minicab.

A machine gun was found in a minicab after police observed a shadowy handover on a residential street.

                   Beren Marshall.                             Mohammed Ali 
Police officers found the 9mm automatic, plus 22 rounds in a magazine plus 34 bullets and a silencer in a bag after pulling over the minicab, Mohammed Ali was travelling in at Great Cheetham Street East, Salford.

Both Ali (31) and the man who supplied him with the weapon, Beren Marshall (32), have been jailed at Manchester Crown Court after admitting firearms offences.

It’s understood the pair were couriers working for gangsters moving the deadly weapon on.

But police acting on intelligence, had them under surveillance and observed their clandestine meeting at Shakespeare Road, Swinton, Salford, at 5.15pm on November 27.


Shortly after Marshall drove away from the scene in a Mercedes, Ali’s minicab was stopped by police.

Asked if there was anything in the car, he replied: “Yes, there’s a gun on the passenger seat.”

Marshall later handed himself in to police and both men went on to admit conspiracy to possessing a prohibited weapon, part of a prohibited weapon and ammunition.

Marshall, of Shirley Avenue Salford, has now been jailed for six years, while Ali of Holst Avenue, Cheetham Hill, who was already subject to a suspended sentence at the time, has been jailed for six years, ten months and two weeks.

The court heard that Ali has previous convictions for firearms after being caught with a sawn-off shotgun and stungun in a police stop in Rusholme.


Convicted drug dealer Marshall has a previous conviction for possessing a sawn-off shotgun along with 50 cartridges.

Michael Johnson, defending Ali, described him as: 
"A man of limited intellect, a man of use to those more sophisticated, a man prepared to run errands and take risks with items that they would not".

Ian Metcalfe, defending Marshall, said he was also being used by others higher up the chain and had been pulled back into crime just as he had begun to find stability with the mother of his two children.

Sending the pair down, Judge Patrick Field QC said: “It’s without doubt that this is a deadly weapon and was intended for use in serious and violent crime, where there would be the risk of death, or at the very least serious personal injury. The danger to society of such weapons is manifest. You both acted knowing that the weapon was to be conveyed to serious and dangerous men.”

Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle said: 
“The arrests were all part of Project Gulf, a multi-agency operation set up to tackle serious organised crime. Our message to those persons involved in criminality is that we will continue to work together in partnership with our local communities to identify those involved in any crime and bring them to Justice.”

“Organised criminality causes misery for ordinary people going about their lawful business. It causes fear, intimidation and we are determined to work together to target those who indulge in such criminality.

“I would urge anyone who believes they have information about those involved in organised crime to contact police. As always, the information you supply will be dealt with privately and confidentially.”

EDITORIAL COMMENT

It's unbelievable, in this day and age, that a man with convictions for firearms, who was also on a suspended sentence for being in possession of a sawn off a shotgun and a stungun, could be driving a minicab. 
How many more drivers like Mohamid Ali are out there, driving minicabs?

Led to Victory

Continuing the military theme, I bring news from the camp of another victory.

No more doom and gloom.

Our gallant commanders have without any thought of themselves managed to support another below inflation rise in the troops camp pay.

0.7 (yes that's right Zero Point Seven) is the magnificent sum and that's nearly one third of the inflation rate, no one can dare say these military masterminds don't bring home the bacon.

The camp by the aerodrome has had the Red Cross Parcels reduced and soon the prisoners there will have to pay for them. 

Let the good times roll!

There is of course no information on our gallant commanders terms and the rental rate of staff cars etc. we must assume they are suffering just as badly as the rest of us.

What's the use of worrying (about touts, rank space, the Law Commission), just pack up your troubles in your old kitbag and smile, smile, smile!

Who said 'lions led by donkeys'?  

Shame on them, that's mutinous talk.


Another from your front line correspondent:
I'm Spartacus 

Editorial Comment

A Pay Rise Or A Pay Cut?

The changes approved by the TfL Board are:

• A 0.7% increase to taxi fares.
Even though inflation is running at over 2%.
 
• A review of the date when taxi fares are updated with a proposal to change this from April of each year to January. 
Probably to take the edge of the tube and bus fare rises. 
 
• Extending the fuel extra surcharge. 
Now completely out of reach.
 
• Allowing the telephone booking extra to cover online and smartphone bookings. 
Veiled attempt to put a stop to minimum app fares. 

• A change to the card payment surcharge so that now either a maximum of £1 or 10% of the metered fare can be charged when a passenger pays by debit or credit card and a new requirement that drivers must not charge passengers more than it costs them (the driver) to accept card payments. 
Bankers still getting their bonuses out of the 10% 

• A review of card payment acceptance in taxis. 
Still trying to make it mandatory for us to give credit. Making it easy for others outside our trade to profit from us.
 
• Adding the Christmas and New Year extra to the fare automatically from 24 December 2016. 
Don't hold your breath waiting for this one.

• No new additional passengers charges being introduced at City Airport. 
Thats nothing back on the charge made to drivers for using LCA.
 
• Reducing the Heathrow extra from £3.20 to £2.80
 
A review of the Heathrow passenger extra with a view to removing this from 1 October 2014. 
Equivalent to a near £60 a week pay cut to drivers who regularly work the airport

Just who negotiated this on our behalf?
But more important, why was private hire consulted about our increase?
We get no say in anything that PH do.


 


Friday, March 14, 2014

UBER'S RIDERSHARING SERVICE MAY ENCOUNTER POTENTIAL ROADBLOCKS AHEAD

A man directs taxi traffic in front of Las Vegas Convention Center during CES on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. 


Uber, a rideshare and car-for-hire app that’s popular in larger cities isn’t allowed in Las Vegas because laws forbid towncars from taking jobs that are less than an hour long or $48 (Jeff Scheid/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

In the latest prong of its charm offensive, rideshare service Uber started promoting its version of the Las Vegas fling.

In a just-ended promotion that began Jan. 31, as many as four people could ride round trip from Los Angeles in an Uber-arranged car, stay one night in a Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas suite and get a free weekend nightclub admission for $1,200.

But like so many aspects of ridesharing, which matches passengers with drivers through a cellphone application, the promotion’s legality is nebulous. Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman Kevin Malone, for example, said at the least, the company or driver would need a nonresident business permit from the state if the trips don’t fall under federal regulation.

Because the Uber trip crosses a state line, the driver and the company may be engaging ininterstate commerce that may require registration with the federal government.

Uber spokesman Andrew Noyes would not respond to questions about what, if anything, the company would do to follow existing law.

Debate over ridesharing will likely intensify as rideshare companies try to enter Nevada. Uber and another rideshare company, Bandwagon, both tried to build local brand recognition in January by wooing tech-savvy delegates to the International CES.

The rideshare debate has already played out with mixed results in numerous cities and courts.

“Las Vegas should not be one of the last major cities without Uber’s superior service,” the company wrote in a blog. What it branded “outdated state laws” had led to a system that is “bad for consumers, bad for competition and stifle much-needed innovation.”

OPPOSITION DEAD AHEAD?

Rideshares will meet emphatic opposition if the issue goes to next year’s Legislature as expected.

“We have had a lot of differences with the owners,” said Sam Moffitt, a steward with the Industrial Technical and Professional Employees Union, which represents drivers at Yellow Checker Star Transportation, the city’s second-largest cab company. “But this is one area where we are both on the same side.”

Cab companies and the union will stress that regulations still serve an important role, particularly background checks on drivers and adequate insurance coverage in case of accidents.

They may argue that more laws, not fewer, make sense. Jonathan Schwartz, a Yellow Checker Star Transportation director, recalled that much of the current regulatory structure evolved from the 1970s, when a more laissez-faire system led to chaos in the streets.

“We’re one of the strongest and most regulated cities in the country for safe and responsible transportation,” Yellow Checker Star Chief Operating Officer William Shranko said.

State regulators haven’t taken sides. But they’ve said no rideshare company has applied to enter the market through standard channels.

Nevada Taxicab Authority Administrator Charles Harvey said Uber has never contacted his agency.

“Prior to discussing a reference to ‘outdated state laws,’ we would need to know the specific laws to which they are referring and have a clear understanding of their business model,” he said.

Nevada Transportation Authority Chairman Andrew McKay said, “Two years ago, we extended an invitation to meet with Uber to talk about how they could operate in Nevada. But they never took us up on it.”

McKay added that Uber would likely have to operate differently to fit within existing regulations.

Being classified as a limousine service would theoretically work against Uber. The rideshare company contends it’s handicapped by Nevada limousine laws that require passengers to buy at least one hour at an average $46 price.

McKay, noting that several limo companies charge less, said he believes Uber would count as a taxi because its fares factor in time and distance.

what kind of company?

Uber bills itself as a technology company and not a transportation provider.

Its drivers, independent contractors who can work whatever hours they wish with their own cars, respond to ride requests listed by Uber’s system and post estimated fares. The passenger doesn’t pay cash, but with a credit card already on file. The fare is charged at the end of the ride.

Uber is trying to break into a local market that critics have called a state-sanctioned cartel. Prices are regulated, supply is regulated through the Taxi Authority’s issuance of medallions and the ability to enter the market is limited. It has been more than a decade since a new cab company was formed.

“Uber in Las Vegas would mean stylish, efficient transportation with the tap of app, whether for business or pleasure,” the company’s blog states. “It would mean never again having to wait in a lengthy taxi line after taking in a show or winning big at the casino.”

Noyes declined to say how that would happen.

Less than 10 percent of Las Vegas cab rides originate with radio calls, according to the company, where a passenger phones a central dispatch system. Unlike many other cities, the overwhelming share of trips come from a cab waiting in a line, whether at a hotel, a tourist-oriented restaurant or McCarran International Airport.

reducing DRAMA

Moffitt said drivers might cause a ruckus if they saw Uber drivers cutting past them in line to pick up passengers.

Because of problems elsewhere, the San Francisco-based nonprofit group Shareable characterized Bandwagon as not carrying “any of the drama of Uber and their ilk,” such as protesters attacking an Uber car in Paris in January, because it “optimizes existing infrastructure and works within existing regulations.”

Uber and other rideshares recently decided to curtail their service at Los Angeles International Airport after officers there wrote dozens of tickets to rideshare drivers.

Under current rules, McCarran would be off-limits. County rules require cabs to carry transponders to track movements to assess fees, plus a medallion and a state-issued certificate.

The airport also requires proof of insurance and registration of the car, including a vehicle identification number, license plate number and type of car, and a taxi number on the car.

Rideshare services say they check drivers for criminal records and insurance before including any of them in their networks.

INSURANCE AT ISSUE

Rideshare insurance was recently spotlighted in California, after an Uber driver in San Francisco hit and killed a 6-year-old pedestrian on New Year’s Eve. A subsequent lawsuit raised questions, including some by the state’s Insurance Department, about whether coverages designed to meet California Public Utilities Commission standards contained serious gaps. Also, the insurance industry contends that a personal insurance policy wouldn’t cover somebody driving for pay.

Noyes told the Los Angeles Times that Uber instituted policies for uninsured or underinsured drivers and will reimburse drivers whose claims are denied. Lyft, a San Francisco-based rideshare company, said it would boost its coverage for drivers picking up or ferrying passengers and kick in money if damages exceed the driver’s personal coverage as a supplement to its basic $1 million commercial liability coverage.

Insurance isn’t a question for established taxi companies. Because the drivers are employees of the 16 taxi brands in Las Vegas, the coverage is well-established.

Already, the local taxi industry has started preparing for the upcoming Legislature.

“We’re getting our ducks in a row so that the regulatory aspects can be explained not only to the public but to the Legislature,” Shranko said.

Prisoner or soldier?

Can't help but notice one of the trade rags celebrating its membership numbers, you know the one, the army established to 'fight the minicab menace', we know how that battle went don't we?


They and their allies who made much or their special access to TFL's war room now seem upset that Field Marshal Hendy along with Colonel Daniels have decided to discharge them despite valiant service not firing a shot in anger over the Olympics!

Still with these numbers of troops no one should doubt the ability to fight back, the trouble is the commanders of these battalions have already marched them into the PoW camp carefully guarded by TfL.


Some of course have made it 'over the wire' and are undertaking small but effective raids but a mass break out is needed to take on the invaders from the Law Commission, UBER, etc. etc. 

Will YOU join the escape committee?

After all you can't fight without an Army.

Prisoner or Soldier, it's up to you!

I'm Spartacus

Second in new series.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Einstein's Definition of Madness.


The growth of PH and the subsequent long downhill run on our living standards has been caused in part by our apathy to come together and defend them.


Another reason was that in busy times Radio Circuit drivers prioritised that work to the detriment of the street hail, incentivised by circuits to do so, it's no wonder someone else filled the gap.

Now those very banks and law firms are using the PH firms we effected allowed to grow big and we are living off scraps!


We now have a Taxi App. asking its drivers to do the same, if I got 10% on every ride I would do too of course, but the working cab driver has always to be mindful of the consequences of ignoring the very customer we do the KOL for the street hail and rank.

So back to Einstein, he said Insanity is defined as 'keep repeating the same experiment (or action) yet somehow expect a different result'.

Still according to the government the recovery (aka debt fuelled boom pre election) is underway, the only recovery I have noticed in the cab trade is broken cabs being towed to garages!

Be Lucky!

I'm Spartacus

Teller of inconvenient truths.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Exclusive: First Look At Interior Of The eNV200 Electric Zero Emission Taxi.

The electric version of the NV200 is currently on display at the 2014 Geneva motor show. 

This is the very model being built in Holland that will go into service in Amsterdam later this summer, joining the already popular EV.


Given the same general model name as the future London a Taxi, it is indeed very different to the petrol version that will be going into service in London, later this year.

The drivetrain is based on the Leaf, with an 80kW (108bhp) electric motor generating 280Nm of torque. Lithium-ion batteries are stored under the floor, which allows for a traditional taxi layout:

Two sliding side doors give excellent access and are safer for pedestrians and cyclists when opened from inside. The blue-tinted Nissan bonnet badge hides the charging socket.

Sitting behind the wheel, the e-NV200 is similar to the Leaf. On the road there’s an audible whine which gets louder as speed increases (could be very annoying). Acceleration is smooth and responsive. The London version will have the necessary 25ft turning circle plus the panoramic roof.

The 100-mile range while acceptable in a small city such as Amsterdam, would seem limited for general use in such a large area as greater London. But Nissan expects cabbies to plug in overnight, quick-charge over lunch (it’s 80 per cent charged in 30 minutes) then return to work. Unfortunately, not every London Cabby lives in a semi with a car port. Home charging could be a major problem with quite a few drivers.

Whether this electric model works in practice will be a key factor in its success.

We have some of the first pictures showing the interior. 


Although being comfortable, the small windows can make it feel a bit claustrophobic. The panoramic roof will be very welcome in the London Taxi version. 


First major difference we noticed, was that all interior seats face forward. It doesn't appear to have been engineered to perform the 25 feet turning circle, has no side wheelchair access and has no panoramic roof.

Drivers Compartment:


The drivers position is extremely comfortable. It has bluetooth phone connectability through the vehicles radio speaker system, with fingertip controls in easy reach on the steering wheel.

Photos by Andrew Nicki Elphick.


Surely, a law suit waiting to happen 
As French company Bollore Group (BOL) get set to quadruple the amount of charging posts in Central London, lawyers will be rubbing their hands. Looks like an accident waiting to happen.

Plus, we are reliably informed that of the 1,600 charging posts currently in London, only four are suitable for fast charging, essential for taxis.

Wonder how much that blue extention lead will fetch on the black market?


And, The Liberty Takers Are At It Again:
Also, noticed down by the London eye were these two new modle sporting Addison Lee livery. To be confirmed but it looks like Addi Lee are showing off new electric zero Emmission vehicles.


Typical of the Euston minicab firm, they've illegally parked on a a Licensed Taxi Rank, obstructing Taxi drivers from working. Also in their present form, these two vehicles do not confirm to the conditions of fitness for private hire vehicles. 




 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

TfL 'improving' Elephant & Castle, allegedly....by Transport Correspondent, Glen Alutto.


Radical changes at the northern roundabout will reduce the impact of traffic and make the area feel cleaner and greener?!?

The proposals include the removal of the roundabout and creation of a major new public space. The changes will balance the needs of drivers more evenly with those of pedestrians and cyclists.


But just who will you benefit from these changes?

As a Taxi driver, it won't be you!

Removing the roundabout will make journeys through the junction much slower & create HUGE amounts of congestion in every direction, as you won’t be able to turn left from Newington Causeway into New Kent Road or turn right from New Kent Road into Newington Causeway.

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/elephant-and-castle/consult_view

This is how we see the improvements turning out.
It could all end in tears.



General secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union Bob Crow has died.

The 52-year-old is believed to have suffered a heart attack and died in the early hours of Tuesday morning.


London Mayor Boris Johnson, with whom he clashed over plans for the Tube, said: "I am shocked. Bob Crow was a fighter and a man of character."

Labour leader Ed Miliband said he was "a major figure in the Labour movement and was loved and deeply respected by his members".

Mr Crow was elected general secretary of the RMT in 2002 following the death of former leader Jimmy Knapp.

The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Crow "was, some argue, the most successful union leader in terms of securing jobs and pay for his members".

He is understood to have been due at a TUC executive awayday in Surrey on Monday, but was unable to attend because he was feeling unwell.


'Sad day'
Mr Miliband offered his condolences: "I didn't always agree with him politically but I always respected his tireless commitment to fighting for the men and women in his union.

"He did what he was elected to do, was not afraid of controversy and was always out supporting his members across the country.

Bob Crow was admired by his members and feared by employers”

Manuel Cortes
TSSA union leader
"He was a passionate defender of and campaigner for safe, affordable public transport and was a lifelong anti-fascist activist."

Mr Johnson said in a statement: "Whatever our political differences, and there were many, this is tragic news."

"Bob fought tirelessly for his beliefs and for his members.

"There can be absolutely no doubt that he played a big part in the success of the Tube, and he shared my goal to make transport in London an even greater success.

"It's a sad day."


Former mayor Ken Livingstone told Sky News: "He fought really hard for his members. The only working-class people who still have well-paid jobs in London are his members."

Bob Crow was a vocal campaigner against the war in Iraq
'Gobby'
Born in 1961 in east London, Mr Crow got his first job on the underground at the age of 16, fixing rails and cutting down trees by the track.

He became a local representative for the then National Union of Railwaymen at the age of 20.


Boris Johnson: "This was a guy who really fought for his members"
Last month, Mr Crow joined his members on the picket line during a Tube strike, called in protest at the mayor's plan to close ticket offices.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, which also took part in the strike, said: "Bob Crow was admired by his members and feared by employers, which is exactly how he liked it.

"It was a privilege to campaign and fight alongside him because he never gave an inch."

In an interview broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on the day before he died, Mr Crow described himself as "talkative", but said he didn't like to be "gobby".

"At the end of the day, to be a general secretary of a union you've got to be larger than life," he said.

"[You cant] walk around with a grey suit on and eat a cheese sandwich every lunch time. You want someone who's got a bit of spark about them."

Millwall fan
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said he was "an outstanding trade unionist, who tirelessly fought for his members, his industry and the wider trade union movement".


Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, added: "Even people who didn't like what he did agreed he did it very well."

Kevin Maguire, associate editor at the Daily Mirror, said on Twitter: "Bob Crow was a big burly bloke with a great brain, wit, heart of gold and surprisingly soft handshake. Missing him already."

A longstanding Millwall supporter, Mr Crow was not a member of any political party when he died, although earlier in his life he did belong to the Communist Party of Great Britain.

He was often equally critical of Labour - especially New Labour - as he was of the Conservatives.

Nevertheless, many Labour MPs gave glowing tributes to him.


John McDonnell, convenor of the RMT parliamentary group, wrote on Twitter: "In Bob Crow we have lost one of the finest trade union leaders and socialists our movement has known. I am devastated by this tragic news."

His colleague Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Crow was also "a very dedicated opponent of racism and fascism whenever it reared its head", as well as taking part in anti-war campaigning.

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop The War Coalition, said: "He was on all the major demonstrations against the war in Iraq, and was consistently against our government's foreign policies.

"I remember him on the front line of our demo in September 2002, when he helped control the massive crowd."

Source BBC news.


Is Uber Acting Outside The Law To Gain Foothold In Austin? Police Say Uber Rides Are No Permitted

Austin Police Department Warns SXSW Attendees Not To Use Uber

Here’s something you might not have noticed if you were partying it up at SXSW and using Uber to get around: Your Uber might not be permitted in Austin, and the police department wants you to know that.

In a post on the Austin government page, and a subsequent tweet sent out at midnight last night, the local police department has been warning inebriated SXSW attendees to “know the rules of the road” before hiring drivers to take them around town.

When asked if Uber rides were permitted, the police department Twitter replied, “No they are not.”

The Austin Transportation and Police Departments encourage South by Southwest festival goers to use permitted transportation services and to learn the law before registering as drivers for vehicle for hire services during SXSW.

Uber has been offering rides to attendees for the last few years (as well as BBQ), but this year it appears the company has been ramping things up pretty heavily. Previously at SXSW, the company had dispatched pedicabs or unpaid drivers as a way to get around strict Austin for-hire transportation rules.

Those rules include mandating a minimum $55 fare and a 30-minute pre-arrangement period, both of which would make Uber prohibitively expensive and not as convenient. Or, really, useless.

To meet demand this year, Uber shipped in drivers from other cities — at least according to my Uber driver last night, who drove in from Dallas and didn’t know where he was driving any better than I did. The Austin Police Department has a warning for some of those drivers:

In order to drive a ground transportation vehicle, a compensated driver must carry an operating permit, a chauffer’s permit and commercial insurance. Violating any one of these requirements could result in up to a $500 fine, totaling a possible $1,500 fine if all requirements are violated. Additionally, drivers who do not comply with the law risk having their vehicle impounded.

Uber says its UberBLACK drivers follow Austin’s rules since they are licensed and have a minimum fare of $55. It also says there are a “limited number of uberX cars on the system for promotional purposes but they are free,” so they don’t violate the city’s rules.

Someone should tell the folks at the police department before they start fining Uber drivers or scaring attendees away from using the service.



Monday, March 10, 2014

Danes report accident fall after speed limit rise

Motorists association the Alliance of British Drivers has seized on a newspaper report that accidents have gone down on Danish single carriageway roads where the speed limits have been increased.

The Copenhagen Post reported that accident levels have  fallen on stretches of single carriageway rural roads where the speed limit was raised from 80 to 90km/h (50mph to 56mph) in 2011 by Danish road directorate, Vejdirektoratet.


Final results of the trial are due next year but the preliminary results raise questions about the DfT’s speed limit appraisal tool that helps local authorities set speed limits (LTT 25 Jan 13). The tool’s guidance explains: “Where a speed limit scheme reduces speeds, the tool will always forecast reductions in accidents. Conversely, where speeds increase, accidents are also forecast to increase.”

The Copenhagen Post said the slowest drivers had increased their speeds but the 15% fastest vehicles were now driving a little slower. 

The paper quoted Rene Juhl Hollen, a Vejdirektoratet spokesperson, saying: “If there is a large difference between speeds then more people will attempt to overtake, so the more homogeneous we can get the speeds on the two-lane roads, the safer they will become.

“It looks like we’ve found the appropriate speed on those stretches of road, so we will reduce the speed differentials and consequently decrease the number of people overtaking.”

The ABD said the report supported its argument that the 85th percentile speed is the most appropriate method for setting speed limits. “These findings vindicate what the ABD has been saying for years, that raising unreasonably low speed limits improves road safety by reducing speed differentials and driver frustration,” said ABD joint chairman Brian Gregory.

Source: Transport Extra.

Editorial Comment:

Eight years ago Danish speed protestors used topless beauties, in a bid to slow down motorists traveling at excessive speeds. The experiment had to be withdrawn when it became a victim of its own success and large queues built up as drivers slowed down to a crawl to catch an eyeful if these bikini bandits.





Minicab driver banned because of 'concerns about contact with schoolgirls'

A PRIVATE hire driver has lost his licence after concerns were raised about his contact with schoolgirls.

The driver, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had his licence removed by Bolton Council’s licensing and environmental regulation committee.

He was banned after the councillors heard from police how complaints by passengers had been made and a parent raised concern about the driver’s conduct while he was off duty.

The committee heard how the driver arranged to pick up two 13-year-old girls just before midnight on a Friday evening — despite not being on duty.

He was alleged to have been sending text messages to the girls and offering “free” rides to the youngsters.

He is no longer allowed to work as a private hire driver.

Sgt John Boyce, from Bolton's partnership and licensing team, said: “The motives of this driver were very questionable. The public has a right to expect that private hire drivers are of good character. In this particular case, the actions of the driver fell well short of that standard.”

This case follows that of private hire driver Riazuddin Malji’s unsuccessful challenge to overturn a decision made by Bolton Council to have his licence revoked last year.

Malji was found to not be a fit and proper person to be a private hire driver after he allegedly asked a 13-year-old passenger’s mobile phone number and asked if she liked smoking drugs.

Bolton magistrates upheld the decision of the council at the appeal hearing.

source: Bolton News.

EDITORIAL COMMENT:

You don't have to have a conviction to lose your bill.

Warning to all drivers:

You are in a vulnerable position working alone and it's their word against yours, so don't do or say anything that could be misinterpreted.

Get CCTV fitted for your sake now!