Taxi firms warned about rules by council
COUNCIL bosses in Tewkesbury borough say a successful prosecution shows they are serious about enforcing taxi regulations.
The borough council took taxi driver Daren Cook to court for allowing an unlicensed person to drive his cab in Tewkesbury.
Cook was fined by Cheltenham magistrates as, although he was a licensed operator with a licensed taxi, he allowed someone to drive it who was not authorised to do so.
After the case, the council said it would continue to crack down on taxi rule breaches in order to protect the public.
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Its lead member for community development, Councillor Sue Hillier-Richardson said: "Our private hire drivers are required to meet high standards to hold a licence, which includes extensive background checks, and we take this responsibility very seriously for the sake of our residents' safety
"Our advice to members of the public is to only use licensed vehicles, which will always have a licence plate with the council's logo, and all licensed drivers should display a photo ID.
"If anyone has any concerns about a private hire vehicle they have used, I encourage them to get in touch with the council."
The court heard that Cook, of Fairway, Northway, Tewkesbury, committed the offence during this year's medieval festival on July 14. The 45-year-old provided a shuttle service between the Gloucester Road event and the nearby Lower Lode Inn.
Although he used a licensed private hire vehicle, he used an unlicensed driver without the correct insurance – Mathew Bridgwater, 25, from Worcester.
Following complaints from other taxi drivers, the council investigated. Both men admitted that Bridgwater had driven the vehicle belonging to Cook, at Cook's request.
Magistrates fined Cook £200 and ordered him to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £200 costs.
Bridgwater was convicted of using a vehicle without the appropriate insurance plan being in place. He was fined £100, ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £100 costs.