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Half of taxis in Rossendale crackdown had defects
SAFETY checks which were carried out on eight Rossendale taxis found that half had dangerous faults.
Operation Maestro, carried out in Rawtenstall by police and also licensing chiefs, saw four drivers issued with suspended or delayed prohibition notices by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) for the defects.
They included tyres that were not inflated to the minimum levels, brake lights that were found not working and also leaking brake callipers.
Drivers must address the issue within a fixed time period or face further punishment.
Three Rossendale councillors shadowed Lancashire police and VOSA staff as they carried out the operation.
Couns Sean Serridge, Steve Hughes and Patrick Marriot looked on as the inspections took place in designated council garages.
Officials also uncovered torn taxi passenger seats, damaged roof signs, missing wheel nuts, dodgy meters and also absent signage.
Coun Christine Gill, who is the licensing committee chairman, said: “There is no excuse for defective tyres and lights or filthy vehicles and defective roof signs and meters.
“Taxi drivers are professional drivers and as such they should be carrying out basic checks before, during and at the end of each shift to ensure passenger safety.
“The council will continue to conduct these inspections regularly. Licenced taxis are regularly tested and further taxi inspections are now scheduled to take place throughout the year.”
In addition to the VOSA punishments, council officers also issued two suspension notices and two defect notices.
Passengers in the Valley made 23 complaints about unfit taxis between the beginning of April and the end of June this year.
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