Taxis and PHVs in Derby under scrutiny after high numbers inspected showed 'serious defects'

Image credit: Ross Campbell

Statistics due to be discussed at a Derby Council Licensing Committee meeting on 6 August, show that 50 per cent of hackney carriage taxis which underwent inspections were found to have serious defects.

The figures released in a report also show that a number of private hire vehicles (PHV) were found to have serious defects.

The figures relate to yellow hackney cabs which were inspected in Derby over a 12 month period from 1 April, 2019 to 31 March, 2020.

51 out of a total of 102 inspected were identified as having serious defects, with issues ranging from defective lights, brakes, steering, tyres or suspension.

50 out of the 51 also had other defects "which can render a vehicle, if not always unsafe, certainly unfit for public service and/or in serious breach of licence conditions".

All 51 which were found with serious defects were suspended from operating until all issues were fixed and deemed safe and roadworthy.

Only 2 out of the 102 inspected were deemed to be of a complete “satisfactory standard”.

Out of 75 private hire vehicles which were inspected, 28 were found to have serious defects.

Of those 28, 11 had problems with lights, six with brakes, four with steering, five with tyres and there were four with suspension defects.

A total of 25 of the private hire cars also had other problems.

Those PHVs were also suspended until all issues were fixed.

The report says that a risk-based approach was used and licensing compliance and enforcement officers often identify vehicles to inspect that appear to fall below the council’s standards for licensed vehicles.

Eight enforcement exercises in total were undertaken with Derbyshire Constabulary during the 12-month period.

Six were undertaken during the day and two were undertaken during the night.

A new policy introduced by government has now specified that hackney carriage taxis and private hire vehicles up and down the country must undergo MOT testing every six months, rather than once every twelve months as it was previously.

This means going forward that both hackney carriage and private hire vehicles should be maintained to the highest possible standards.

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