Updated: May 12
South Ayrshire Council’s Regulatory Panel has issued a warning to taxi and private hire operators in the area, urging them to take responsibility for their vehicle maintenance.
This comes as a result of concerns over a “worrying trend” that has been observed in the condition of vehicles in the authority, sparking a call from the council for operators to ensure their vehicles undergo regular inspection and MOT.
There are currently 99 taxi and 149 private hire licensed vehicles operating across South Ayrshire, and one of the conditions of their licence to operate is that they must undergo an annual inspection and an MOT.
For vehicles that are over seven years old, this test should take place every six months. The purpose of the test is to ensure that the high standards in the South Ayrshire taxi and private hire trade are maintained, as every vehicle should be safe and roadworthy.
Discussing the issue at the latest meeting of the Regulatory Panel, councillors revealed that of the 32 taxi vehicle tests that took place between January 1 and March 312023, six licences failed (19%), compared to just two fails (6%) during the same period last year.
Private hire vehicles (PHV) didn’t perform much better, with 11 licensed vehicles failing (29%) out of 38 vehicles tested between January 1 and March 31 2023, which is similar to this time last year.
The council is now reminding taxi and private hire operators of their responsibilities in terms of vehicle maintenance, emphasising that all vehicles must be safe and roadworthy, for the safety of passengers and the maintenance of high standards within the industry.
According to the Ayr Advertiser, Councillor Kenny Bell, chair of South Ayrshire Council’s Regulatory Panel, said: “This is a worrying trend, and one we would like to address.
“We’re reminding operators that they have a responsibility to check their vehicles regularly and to ensure they have robust inspection and maintenance plans in place.
“Passengers and other road users need to be confident that these vehicles are well maintained and roadworthy at all times.
“Where there is a pattern of failure for a particular vehicle, we do have the power to suspend a licence. This would always be a last resort, but safety must be our primary concern.”