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Crackdown on private hire vehicles in Hyndburn
4:00pm Saturday 28th December 2013 in News
PRIVATE hire taxi drivers in Hyndburn were caught breaching regulations during a recent crackdown in the borough.
Only Hackney carriages can pick fares up at the side of the road, or be flagged down, and Hyndburn Council launched a joint operation with the police after receiving a number of complaints about private hire drivers illegally touting for business.
During the operation a number of taxi drivers were reported for breaching regulations, and for driving without valid insurance.
Others were found to be driving taxis unfit for purpose, although the council refused to say how many drivers were caught.
PC Graham Hartley, community beat manager for Accrington Town Centre, said: “The message is clear, unless you have pre-booked the journey or are taking a taxi from a designated taxi rank, do not get in a mini-cab at the side of the road or try to flag one down.
“The taxi will not be insured, and so, if you do get into an accident, you won’t be able to claim."
Coun Chris Fisher, chair of hackney and private hire licensing, said: "I'm really proud of my licensing team, the police and not least the actors who took part.
“I observed the operation and everything went perfectly and was hugely successful.
“At this time we can't go into details because there are prosecutions pending, more will be released in due course.
“There is no doubt operators and drivers now know we mean business.
“Be assured public safety will always be our number one priority. We have many more operations like this planned in the very near future so rogue taxi drivers beware."
Coun Clare Pritchard added: “One of the aims of this operation was all about making sure that the travelling public are aware that any taxi they flag down can only be a hackney carriage and if they use private hire vehicles they need to ensure that the journey is pre booked, otherwise the vehicle will not be insured.
“We are not in a position to give exact figures as yet as we are still looking into some issues.”
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