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Taxi driver handed FORMAL WARNING for 40 unlawful fares after missing authority email sent

A taxi driver in Aberdeen has been issued a formal warning after unlawfully taking on 40 fares earlier this year.

The driver, Majid Ali, had been operating with an expired hackney carriage pass certificate, which prompted the Aberdeen Council Licensing Committee to take action.

According to information sheets released by the committee, Mr. Ali's vehicle licence had expired on 9 January 2023. After being informed via email on 20 January 2023 that his vehicle could not be used as a Private Hire Car (PHC) until it passed a hackney test, Mr. Ali was booked for the test on Wednesday 25 January 2023, the first available slot.

However, between 20 and 22 January 2023, Mr. Ali proceeded to undertake 40 hires despite being advised that he couldn't use his vehicle during this period. The confirmation of this action was provided by the booking office through which Mr. Ali obtained his fares.

Fortunately, Mr. Ali's vehicle passed the hackney test on 25 January 2023. The licensing authority, however, was within their rights to suspend or revoke his licence if they believed that a condition of the licence had been violated.

According to Aberdeen Live, the local authority sent Mr. Ali an email on Friday 20 January 2023, which he missed as he was asleep after finishing a night shift with Rainbow City Taxis. It was not until Monday that he noticed the email, at which point he immediately stopped using his car.

During the committee hearing, Mr. Ali admitted his fault for not reading the email promptly. However, he argued that the local authority should have taken additional measures to alert him, such as making a phone call or leaving a voice message, as other organisations often do.

Mr. Ali stated: "The council never rang me; they just sent an email. I'm putting my hands up that it's my responsibility to check emails, but I'm just saying a phone call would help, or even a voice message as everyone else rings. British Gas rings me, my father from Kashmir in a warzone rings me, but Aberdeen Council can't leave a simple voicemail?"

In response to Mr. Ali's case, Councillor Marie Boulton believed that a formal warning was an appropriate course of action. She also emphasised the importance of reminding Mr. Ali that the conditions of his licence ultimately remained his responsibility.


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