On Friday, 22 March 2019, Mr Ian O’Rourke (a Knowsley hackney carriage driver) was convicted at Liverpool Magistrates Court of overcharging his passengers contrary to Section 67 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.
After receiving a complaint that some taxi drivers were overcharging passengers, Knowsley Council’s Licensing Officers carried out a number of test purchase operations. One such operation discovered that Mr O’Rourke had failed to engage his hackney carriage taximeter at the commencement of the journey and in doing so had charged a fare higher than the agreed rates of fares.
The trial concluded that Mr O’Rourke had committed the offence and his explanation for the offence was “implausible”.
He was fined £110 and the council was awarded £600 costs. Mr O’Rourke was also ordered to pay a Victim Surcharge of £30.
A Knowsley Council spokesperson said “The council take such matters extremely seriously and a thorough investigation was launched once we received a complaint. Passengers expect to be charged what is displayed on the meter. Such actions are not only dishonest but also reflect badly on the majority of honest hardworking taxi drivers who serve our community. Such behaviour won’t be tolerated and we will take robust action against offenders.”