10 licences suspended during mammoth Wigan Council taxi and private hire compliance checks 

More than 120 taxis and private hire cars have been stopped and checked during a joint operation by Wigan Council and Greater Manchester Police.

Overall, 128 vehicles have been checked in the run up to the busy festive period by officers in conjunction with MOT testers from the council’s Makerfield depot.

The annual inspections are carried out to ensure passengers’ safety at a time when more residents are likely to be opting for a taxi or private hire vehicle home.

The council said checks also act as a timely reminder to taxi drivers and private hire car drivers on the things they can do to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy, with experts on hand to advise where appropriate.

In total, 10 vehicles were suspended, eight were handed advisory notes and two were given warning notes on what improvements were needed urgently.

Julie Middlehurst, Regulatory Services Manager at Wigan Council, said: “Ensuring the safety of both passengers and pedestrians is paramount for the council and this is why joint operation takes place.

“It is vitally important that the public have faith when using drivers and the assessments mean high levels of safety are upheld.

“While the vast majority of taxi and private hire drivers operate safely within the terms of their licence, there will be a minority who choose to disregard the law and as a council we have a duty to act and educate where appropriate.

“The Licensing Service would like to thank the hackney carriage and private hire trade and passengers for their co-operation.”

Visits to Hope School were also made where officers reviewed licensed vehicles who transport vulnerable and disabled children to school.

A total of 50 vehicles underwent routine checks at five Wigan-based and five Leigh-based taxi companies.

Wigan Council has also taken the opportunity to urge residents to get home safely this Christmas by making sure they only use licensed taxis.

People are reminded to check for a valid vehicle licence plate and to see if a driver is wearing their photo ID badge before accepting a ride.

Private hire vehicles, which must be booked in advance, bear yellow taxi licence plates showing the car registration number, expiry date and number of passengers it's licensed to carry.

Hackney carriages, which can pick up passengers at taxi ranks or be hailed in the street, have white licence plates and a sign on the roof of the vehicle. All licensed taxi drivers must wear their photo ID while on duty.

The advice given is to always make a note of the details in the event you may need to make a complaint or compliment on your experience.

Wigan Council said: 'We do like to hear positive feedback about our licensed drivers and vehicles.'

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