Christmas revellers are being warned of illegal taxis operating during the festive period.
Christmas revellers and shoppers are being urged to check that their taxis are properly licensed in a new campaign which was launched today by Wrexham Council’s Licensing Department. Posters and adverts displaying simple checks will be placed at locations and venues used as popular ‘pick up spots’ for taxis and private hire vehicles.
During the last year, the Licensing Enforcement team took action against a number of illegal taxi drivers who were openly carrying members of the public without the proper licences or insurance.
Joss Thomas, Licensing Enforcement Officer said “We are asking the public to be vigilant and to always check that the vehicle they are getting into has a valid licence plate and that the driver displays a licence badge, as required by law. If they follow these simple checks, they can be assured that the vehicle has met specific standards for road worthiness and that the driver has been checked by the Criminal Record Bureau. In the last year, our investigations led to several prosecutions of illegal taxi drivers that were not licensed or insured. One even had 6 children on board when he was caught. The vehicle did not have an appropriate insurance policy”.
The campaign is fully supported by members of the Licensed Private Hire and Hackney Community who met with Councillor David Griffiths, Lead Member for Health and Adult Social Care recently.
Councillor Griffiths said “The safety of the public is paramount, members of the public should always use a fully licensed taxi or private hire service. Vehicles licensed by Wrexham Council can be recognised by the white and purple coloured licence plates which must be displayed on the exterior of all vehicles. Private Hire Vehicles will also have yellow adhesive signs in the rear passenger windows. Unlicensed vehicles will not have passed the compliance testing and will not have adequate insurance so its really not worth taking the risk”.
Top tips for safe taxi transport:
- Always use a reputable firm or operator, never accept a taxi from a ‘tout’ on the street, this is a sure sign that the service is illegal.
- All drivers must display a Licence badge which will show their name, photograph, licence number and expiry date of the licence. If in doubt- ask to see this.
- Hackney Carriages can be hailed off the street or picked up on a rank, these generally display an illuminated taxi sign on the roof of the vehicle and will always display a purple licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.
- Private Hire vehicles must be booked through a licensed operator and cannot be hailed on the street, these display white plates on the front and rear of the vehicle and yellow signs in the rear passenger windows
Pictured: Carole O Keefe of the Wrexham Hackney Carriage Association, Councillor David Griffiths, Nick Jones and Chris Edwards of Apollo.