23/12/2011 - Permalink

Reminder to use licensed taxis this Christmas

Related topics: Community

People planning to enjoy a night out over the Christmas period are being warned to use only licensed taxis or private hire vehicles. 

Shropshire Council’s licensing team is urging people to stay safe by checking if a taxi or private hire vehicle is licensed before getting in. 

The following advice has been issued: 

1.        Ask to see proof that a vehicle or driver is licensed:

A licensed vehicle will display a licence plate on the rear of the vehicle, and an internal licence plate which will include the licensing authority, for example Shropshire Council, the licence number and the vehicle registration number.  Licensed hackney carriage taxis display a roof sign, and licensed private hire vehicles may either have a roof sign or stickers on the side of the vehicle. 

A licensed driver will wear an identity badge which will show the driver’s licence number and licensing authority details. 

2.        Stay safe:

 Sit in the back of the vehicle.

 Keep your mobile phone where it is easily accessible. 

Make a note of the number plate and driver’s licence number, and if uneasy text them to a friend or family. 

Report any concerns to Shropshire Council’s licensing team on 0345 678 9026

3.        Do not use a taxi or private hire vehicle if: 

The driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol. 

The driver does not seem to know the local area. 

The vehicle is in a state of disrepair. 

You are uneasy for any reason. 

Private hire vehicles must be pre-booked and customers should be quoted the exact fare when the booking is made.  The driver cannot charge more than the previously agreed fare. 

Hackney carriage taxis do not have to be pre-booked and can be hailed on the street.  They must be fitted with a meter which the driver must start at the beginning of the journey.  The maximum price for the journey will show on the meter at the end of the journey and the driver cannot charge any more. 

Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for licensing, said:

“Licensed taxis and private hire vehicles are generally a very safe way to travel.  Licensed vehicles are regularly tested, must meet minimum standards, and will have appropriate insurance cover. 

“To ensure that the vehicle and driver have been through the necessary checks we would just ask people to look out for the Shropshire Council licence plate on the vehicle or the driver’s identity badge.” 

Councillor Rosanna Taylor-Smith, chair of the licensing committee, added:

“This Christmas we are reminding people that using unlicensed vehicles puts them at unnecessary risk, and we urge them to make sure the vehicle is licensed and legal before accepting a lift.” 

Shropshire Council and its partners are also advising people to plan ahead before heading out for Christmas celebrations.  People are urged to think about how they will be getting home by designating a driver, booking a taxi or private hire vehicle in advance or planning the use of public transport.

For further advice and details of the differences between hackney carriage taxis and private hire vehicles click here.