Updated: Jul 30, 2021
A private hire driver licensed by Bristol City Council, and working on the Uber ride-hailing app, was fined and suspended after being found guilty of illegally plying for hire, having no insurance and other offences.
The unnamed driver has been suspended by the council's licensing committee for accepting a fare which was not pre-booked. He was also fined a total of £704 and handed 6 points on his DVLA driver's licence.
The case went to Court in June, after the private hire driver agreed to transport a plain-clothes PCSO who was acting as a passenger.
As the journey began, the driver was pulled over by PC Quinton, who was part of the undercover sting operation.
The PCSO confirmed to PC Quinton that the driver had agreed to transport him for £9. The driver confirmed during the stop that he was plying for hire. He, at a later date, changed his story saying that it was a mistake and that he thought the PCSO was “Zack”, another booking received via Uber.
During his licensing hearing, the driver maintained that he was confused, that he thought the PCSO was "Zack" and after he realised the error, he did not want to stop the journey for the PCSO.
The council's licensing committee checked with PC Quinton to see if the Uber story added up. Uber confirmed to PC Quinton that the booking for "Zack" was made after the PCSO was picked up, proving that he was not being honest.
It also came to light upon inspection of the vehicle at the time of the stop, that the vehicle lights had defects.
Read more: Uber driver suspended for 6 months after illegally picking up undercover officer without a pre-book
In Court the driver was found guilty of illegally plying for hire, no insurance, failing to wear a driver's badge and lighting offences.
The Bristol City Council Licensing Committee concluded that the PHV licence of the driver be suspended for a period of 6 months.