Taxi enforcement officers from Ribble Valley Borough Council, in collaboration with the police and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), conducted spot checks in Clitheroe to ensure the safety and reliability of taxis in the area.
During the inspections, a total of six vehicles were thoroughly examined. Much to the satisfaction of the authorities, all the taxis were found to be in compliance with the required standards, with no prohibition notices issued by the enforcement officers.
In light of these spot checks, Ribble Valley residents have also been reminded of the potential risks associated with using unlicensed taxis or flagging down private hire vehicles.
1. "Yellow plate" private hire vehicles must be pre-booked. Only "blue plate" hackney carriages can be flagged down or hired from a taxi rank. It is illegal for private hire vehicles to pick up passengers in the street, unless the ride has been pre-booked.
2. Before entering a taxi, passengers should ensure that the driver is wearing an identification badge that has not expired. This is an important step in verifying the authenticity of the driver's credentials.
3. Passengers are advised to check the identity of drivers against the photographs displayed on their identification badges. This further enhances passenger safety and security.
4. Personal information should not be divulged to taxi drivers. Passengers must exercise caution and protect their privacy during their journeys.
5. Prior to the commencement of a private hire journey, passengers are encouraged to agree upon the fare with the driver to avoid any misunderstandings. Metered hackney cab fees, on the other hand, are set by the council.
To facilitate transparency and assist the public in making informed choices, Ribble Valley Borough Council maintains a comprehensive register of licensed operators, vehicles, and drivers. Interested individuals can access this register via the council's website. It includes crucial information such as the names of taxi licence holders, licence numbers, issue and expiry dates, and licence terms. This allows users to verify the credentials of drivers and vehicles, ensuring a safe, comfortable, and roadworthy travel experience. Moreover, individuals can also confirm that drivers possess a reasonable knowledge of the area, are medically fit, and have a clean record devoid of serious convictions.
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s taxi enforcement officer, Carl Rung, said: “Maintaining a high standard of vehicles is something we take seriously, and we carry out regular checks to ensure taxis and their drivers are meeting licensing requirements.
“This was a joint operation, where vehicles were subject to a rigorous inspection to ensure they were compliant with licence conditions. It is reassuring for the public that, in this instance, all vehicles which were checked were found to be fully compliant.”