Taxi spot check in Milton Keynes found ‘majority’ had defects

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Spot checks on city taxis revealed more than half the vehicles had defects so serious that they were not fit to be on the road, the Citizen can reveal.

The faults found included defective tyres, dodgy lights, leaking oil and even a loose passenger door.

The checks, carried out by police and council licensing officers last Wednesday, went under the code name of Operation Charlie.

Some 26 private hire vehicles and Hackney carriages were stopped as they drove about the roads of Milton Keynes.

Fourteen had a full mechanical examination at the council’s testing centre – and serious defects were found on all of them.

“They were immediately suspended from being used as private hire vehicles until the defects were rectified,” said a council spokesman.

One cab, licensed by South Northants District Council but driving in MK, was found to have 10 separate defects.

The council said the aim of the operation was to “proactively tackle” vehicle defects found among taxis in the city.

But it seems even police were surprised at the sheer volume of faults uncovered.

PS Simon Hills from the Roads Policing Unit said: “We are disappointed that the majority of private hire vehicles were carrying defects so serious the vehicles were suspended from being used in the private hire trade.

“It is vital that people have absolute confidence in the safety of private hire vehicles and Hackney taxis.”

Councillor Catriona Morris is chairman of the council’s Regulatory and Licensing Committees.

She said: “These routine council operations, in partnership with Thames Valley Police, are to ensure the safety of residents and visitors to Milton Keynes.”