A spot check by Stevenage Borough Council licensing officers found a number of taxis and private hire drivers failing basic standards checks, with Uber drivers among the worst offenders.
Stevenage Borough Council’s licensing officers teamed up with local parking enforcement officers and Transport for London’s taxi and private hire compliance officers, in order to carry out the compliance checks.
On Friday 18 October, all taxis found working in Stevenage town centre, including Uber cabs were stopped and checked, in a continuing effort to ensure that all licensed drivers and vehicles are safe.
The council said the safety of the public is the main concern for the Council, and making sure taxis comply with the law is an important part of this.
The checks found that seven Stevenage licensed taxis had minor non-dangerous faults, all of which were corrected at the time or shortly afterwards.
Three of thirteen Transport for London licensed Uber cabs were found to have faults, two of which were serious concerns and one was considered unfit to be a taxi.
When this exercise was carried out in April, a similar result was found for Stevenage licensed taxis, but the standard of Uber cabs seems to have become worse, the council said.
Councillor Jackie Hollywell, portfolio holder for Communities, Community Safety and Equalities stated: “Most people are not aware of the different standards expected of taxis or taxi drivers licensed by different authorities, and that not all drivers or vehicles face the same safeguarding or safety checks.
"In Stevenage, all of our drivers and vehicles are checked, and meet the highest standards, and interventions like these targeting our taxis and those of Transport for London highlight the importance we place in making sure all of our residents are safe. Our licensing officers regularly inspect all of our taxis, and I would encourage people to use our cabs over those from other areas, especially if their standards do not match ours.”