Cab checks reveal 50 per cent are faulty

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A SPOT check on the safety of city cabs resulted in a failure rate of almost 50 per cent, the Citizen can reveal.

In a special operation last week police and council officials examined 29 vehicles and found 14 of them had defects.

These included nails in tyres, brake and tail lights not working and “general poor condition”, said council taxi licensing spokesman Karen Ford.

She said: “We regularly carry out these spot checks so it is disappointing to find so many defects on such a significant percentage of vehicles.

“The safety of passengers and other road users in Milton Keynes is our highest priority so we will continue to carry out this proactive work to send the message to the trade that their vehicles must be safe.”

Ms Ford is also warning people not to take short cuts to get home this winter by jumping into an unlicensed cab.

She is reminding the travelling public that private hire vehicles should only be used when you have booked them.

“We’ve all been there, it’s late, you want to get home after an evening out, and it’s tempting to just jump into the first ‘taxi’ you see,” she said.

But that is dangerous for several reasons. If you climb into an unlicensed vehicle you are basically taking a car journey with a complete stranger.

“And even if it’s a ‘proper’ cab, a private hire vehicle being used as a Hackney carriage is not insured for this, which could be disastrous for the passenger in the event of an accident, or worse.

“So if a car other than a Hackney carriage stops and offers to take you on your journey, politely refuse.”

The council, working with Thames Valley Police, continues to crack down on cab drivers who take to the roads in unsafe vehicles.

For more information on taxis and private hire vehicles, view the council’s website at