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Hartlepool Council issues safety warning following reports of unlicensed taxis

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

Hartlepool Borough Council's licensing officers have issued a public warning about the risks of using unlicensed taxis, following reports of unauthorised drivers trying to pick up passengers in the area.

Rachael Readman, the Licensing Manager, stressed the potential dangers of getting into an unlicensed taxi.

Readman said: “For most people getting into a taxi means getting into the car of a complete stranger. Hartlepool Borough Council licence taxis to ensure that the public can have confidence that their safety and well-being is assured. All taxi drivers are vetted and their vehicles regularly inspected.

“Using an unlicensed taxi means there are no such checks and the integrity or intentions of the driver cannot be guaranteed and any vehicle would almost certainly not be correctly insured.

“Unlicensed taxis will generally be found operating around the busiest times such as Christmas. This makes it easier for them to blend in and to make the most money. Unfortunately it is also the time when many people have been consuming alcohol and may not be able to take good care of themselves."

To assist residents and visitors in making safe transportation choices, the Council provided the advice:

Visible Identification: Only use taxis that are yellow, marked with licence numbers, display a Hartlepool Borough Council logo, and where drivers carry an identity badge with the Council logo. Avoid any taxi that lacks these markings.

Taxi Ranks: Prefer taxis waiting at Council-approved taxi ranks, which are plentiful in the town centre.

Pre-Booked Vehicles: For taxis and private hire vehicles booked in advance, ensure they are clearly marked with a licence number and Hartlepool Borough Council logo, and check that the driver has the requisite identity badge.

Tariff Transparency: Hackney carriages (yellow taxis) should have a visible tariff sheet, usually on a rear window. Be aware that non-standard tariffs may apply during the Christmas period on specific dates and times.


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