A BURNLEY taxi boss whose drivers repeatedly parked outside the booking office despite it being banned ended up facing a fine.

The town’s magistrates heard how Mohammed Khan’s cab drivers at Mg Blueline on Church Street, were supposed to park in a designated area and not within 100 metres of the office.

Church Street, a main road to and from Burnley, was within a conservation area and the council said the parked taxis caused congestion problems and were ‘detrimental to the character of the area and highway safety’.

Burnley Borough Council prosecutor Emma Barker said Mr Khan should have taken a ‘harder line’ with his drivers than he had.

The hearing was told an enforcement notice had been served in April and Mr Khan, 58, was given seven days from May 25 to stop the parking of private hire vehicles on the street at all times, but failed to do so.

Mr Khan, of William Street, Brierfield, admitted five counts of being the owner of land, causing/carrying on/permitting an activity in contravention of an enforcement notice, on August 4, 5, and 16 and on September 3 and 4.

The defendant was fined £335 and must pay £231.54 costs and a £33.50 victim surcharge. The chairman of the bench told him: “It’s your business and it’s your responsibility to ensure that the drivers comply with your wishes.” The maximum fine for the offence is £20,000.

Glen Smith, for Mr Khan, said he was the operator and he was ultimately responsible for the drivers’ actions. He rented a designated parking area.

The solicitor said: “He tells his drivers, he has a notice in the office, which says ‘Please do not park in this area, park in the designated area’.”

Mr Smith told the court Mr Khan had thought of bringing in a fines tariff for drivers who parked outside, but was worried he would lose the workers .

The solicitor added : “It’s a fine line between being hard and being fair.”