A cabbie who hit a hedge in his car and had his taxi licence revoked has turned his life around.

Shakail Ahmed, 43, regained his badges thanks to the support of business rival Shaz Malik who runs Four Sixes in Chorley.

Chorley Council stripped Shakail of his private hire and hackney carriage licences after complaints were made against him in 2019. A decision Shakail said was correct and one which he says helped him to develop as a person.

He also told of being inspired by the Netflix series The Tiger King and wanted to share his story to encourage other drivers not to fall into the trap he did.

In the incidents which were captured on CCTV Shakail clipped a hedge at speed while trying to retrieve a drinks bottle from under a pedal.

Then he hit a kerb while carrying passengers including two small children. Later, he used an unlicensed vehicle to carry out a booking.

Shakail was forced to sell his successful businesses, Star Cars, Four Fours and Eccleston Private Hire.

He said: “I used to work really and sometimes seven days a week for very long hours. I took up being taxi driver at the age of 21 so it was all I knew. But as you get older you have to learn to prioritise things. 

“In my case I did not. I carried on working hard and soon enough it took its toll.

“I started to nod off whilst driving. I would do anything to stay awake like keeping the windows down and having energy drinks.

“Then I started making mistakes and one thing led to another.”

Shakail with Shaz Malik who runs Four Sixes in Chorley

Following the incidents Chorley Council revoked his licences and he was was forced into selling his businesses. In 2019 he appealed failed in his bid to overturn the council decision.

Four Sixes based in Hollinshead Street, Chorley, later bought Shakail’s businesses. 

Shaz of Four Sixes told us: “Shakail was one of our main competitors. I had a choice of helping or seeing him drown.

“As a human it’s impossible for me to ignore and walk past someone who needs help.

“I’ve been told from different people I have met over the years that I can reach out to humans on personal level, people have described it as a gift that I have.  So, I used this to help people.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Shakail with Shaz Malik who runs Four Sixes in Chorley

Shaz helped Shakail reapply for his licence and got him back on his feet.

Shaz said: “I agree with the council and how they take these kind of incidents very seriously.
“He’s well known in Chorley and the surrounding towns. He needed support and I wanted to give him that. When someone’s down, I believe in helping them back up.

“I think he has come a long way and I think other drivers who get themselves into his situation can learn from him.

“As a base operator he brings a lot of experience to the firm.”

Shakail said: “Shaz has been brilliant and we had some really long conversations. I have to say it is thanks to him that I am back.

“He told me to watch a Netflix documentary, Tiger King. He said to me “You’re the Taxi King”.

“He told me I had had a great business, but lost it. It was a matter of understanding were you went wrong and how to get past it.

“I thought I would never gain my taxi badge, but I made a recovery which I didn’t even think was possible to do.”

Shakail also urged other cabbies to listen to their bodies and think about their own mental health before embarking on the long hours.

He added: “Work will always be here- you can be assured of that. Taking energy drinks and doing other things to keep going will catch up on you sooner or later.

“The best advice I can give anyone is that your physical and mental health comes first.”