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STING OPERATION: Unlicensed taxi driver found guilty of plying-for-hire in Pontypridd

An unlicensed taxi driver in Pontypridd has been fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £775.

Liam Downes, found operating illegally without a taxi licence in the Borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, was apprehended near Pontypridd Train Station. The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday 13 August 2023, as Mr Downes waited for people leaving nearby pubs and clubs.

A licensing officer approached Mr Downes, who agreed to transport them for a fee, confirming his illegal operation.

On Wednesday, 8 May 2024, at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court, Mr Downes of Church Village pleaded guilty to the charge of plying for hire without a licence. The court imposed a fine and ordered him to cover the costs, amounting to £775.

A spokesperson for the licensing department in Rhondda Cynon Taf said: “Public safety and confidence to use regulated and licensed taxis is of utmost importance. Licensed drivers and vehicles go through rigorous checks to ensure they meet standards in place to protect the needs and safety of the public. Unlicensed drivers who undermine that trust will be robustly dealt with to maintain public confidence and ensure public safety.

“Hackney Carriage taxis licensed within Rhondda Cynon Taf are black in colour and are provided with a council issued plate on the rear showing the maximum number of passengers and a door signs on each side of the front doors. Drivers who are licensed by the council are also issued with a badge which they must show customers when asked.

“I would encourage anyone with information on unlicensed taxi drivers or unlicensed vehicles operating in Rhondda Cynon Taf to contact the Council’s Licensing Team.”


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