Updated: Oct 2, 2022
Members of the public are being warned of the dangers of travelling in illegal ‘taxis’ after a surge in reports of them in Merthyr Tydfil town centre at the weekends.
Unlicensed vehicles have not been assessed as safe and suitable to carry passengers and could be in an unroadworthy condition, meaning passengers could be at risk.
Cllr Michelle Symonds, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Crime and Disorder, said: “The Council’s Licensing Department are receiving reports of vehicles operating as illegal taxis with unlicensed drivers.
“The purpose of taxi licensing is to protect the public, and we would like to remind residents and visitors of the risks of getting into these vehicles.
“Drivers have direct responsibility for the safety of passengers and significant control over passengers – passengers who may be alone and/or vulnerable.”
All licensed drivers and vehicles are assessed by the Council to ensure they have been maintained to an acceptable standard and are safe and suitable to carry passengers.
Unlicensed vehicles will not have the correct insurance in place and unlicensed drivers will not have undertaken the relevant safeguarding checks to ensure they are fit to transport passengers and do not pose a threat to the public.
Vehicles licensed by the Council will display door stickers on both front doors, and licences plates on the rear of the vehicle and windscreen.
Only licensed Hackney Carriages can be flagged down in the road. These are black vehicles with a white roof light. All will have a taxi meter programmed with the current tariffs, and this must be switched on when the journey begins to ensure the correct fare is charged.
“Members of the public could be putting themselves in danger by using unlicensed vehicles/drivers and we would urge anyone to think twice before getting in an unlicensed vehicle,” added Cllr Symonds.