12 Dec Three Taxi Drivers in Banbury and Bicester Have Licenses Suspended
Three taxi and private hire drivers in Banbury and Bicester have had their licenses suspended as part of a Christmas crackdown by police and the Council, the Oxford Mail reports.
The operation by Cherwell District Council and Thames Valley Police has been designed to help members of the public stay safe on nights out in the run up to Christmas.
38 checks were carried out on vehicles holding licenses to sure they were following the conditions imposed by the council. The three suspensions were for faults in the vehicle, rather than any misconduct by drivers.
Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s executive member with responsibility for licensing, said: “We are pleased that the vast majority of our taxi drivers are offering a safe and accountable service to their passengers.
“However, the fact that we have just suspended three licences shows that we take breaches of conditions extremely seriously and will take enforcement action wherever necessary.
“We advise people travelling by taxi in our district to check that the vehicle is carrying a white or green council plate to the rear and that the driver is displaying his photo ID inside the car.
“They can then enjoy their journey in the knowledge that their driver has been through our rigorous checks and training.”
Fareed Baloch of Zoom.taxi said it was “welcome news that a council and police were taking the integrity of licenses issued for taxis and private hire cars so seriously.”
“The majority of drivers take their responsibilities seriously and keep their vehicles in good shape and obey the rules. However, there are always a minority who don’t appreciate the position of trust that their passengers have placed in them and they give the rest a bad name.”
Zoom.taxi operates a system where documents showing compliance, such as MOT, insurance and drivers’ license, can be uploaded onto the system by drivers from their zoom app for viewing and approval by the dispatcher. It is only then the driver will become active. The Zoom system also make a driver automatically inactive if a document expires and drivers are alerted when any of their document is about to expire. This system is built to make sure the driver has all the required document in place, which is key to passengers’ safety.
“When they book a ride through a private hire firm using Zoom system, they get a text with driver details, including their driving license. This gives them peace of mind that they are travelling with a licensed /vetted driver.
Unlike other online booking apps like Uber, companies using Zoom allow customers to book in advance so partygoers or parents wanting to ensure a young adult is safe – can book in advance and receive updates about journeys.
Council licensing offers conducted checks including ensuring the registration plates matched the licenses issued and that all documentation was up to date. They also checked meters on taxis and checked the vehicle for any faults.
The council is planning to run further spot-checking operations at regular intervals over the coming months.