A private hire driver was ordered to pay out a total of £541 by Preston Magistrates Court and had his driving licence endorsed with six points after West Lancashire Borough Council officers caught him illegally taking passengers without prior booking.
Alan Lamb, aged 52, of Grosvenor Road, Maghull attended the court on 29 March 2017, where he pleaded guilty to illegally plying for hire. He was fined £310, and ordered to pay £200 costs and a £31 victim surcharge as well as having his licence endorsed.
The Council’s Licensing Team routinely undertake enforcement exercises in the Borough. Such exercises involve the checking of vehicles and drivers licensed by the Council, but the Licensing Team also undertake journeys as passengers to ensure taxi drivers work within the law. The court heard that licensing staff discovered Mr Lamb, a driver licensed by another Council outside of West Lancashire, who took passengers without prior booking.
Under relevant law, any journey in a private hire vehicle must be pre-booked with the relevant operator. If the driver accepts passengers without pre-booking, the journey is not just illegal, it is not insured.
Dave Tilleray, Director of Leisure and Wellbeing, said: “This prosecution sends out a strong message to private hire drivers that they must abide by the law and not pick up any passengers that have not pre-booked.”
“Residents must also be aware that if they get into a private hire vehicle they have not pre-booked then they are not insured, so if they are involved in an accident they cannot make a claim against the driver’s insurance.”
For more information about the licensing service please visit www.westlancs.gov.uk/licensing.