Taxi checks found “majority” of vehicles had defects

Taxi stock image
Taxi stock image

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 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.

“The aim of the Roads Policing Unit is to ensure that people can use the roads without fear of injury.

“It is vital that people have absolute confidence in the safety of private hire vehicles and Hackney taxis, and this operation was designed to highlight those who do not maintain their vehicles.”

Mr Hills said the unit also supported the many drivers in the City who provide a professional service in well maintained taxis.

He added: “We will continue to work with our partners at Milton Keynes Council to ensure the safety of the public when using these services.”

Councillor Catriona Morris, chairman of the council’s Regulatory and Licensing Committees, said: “These routine council operations, in partnership with Thames Valley Police, are to ensure the safety of residents and visitors to Milton Keynes.”

Anybody with information about offenders call the police non-emergency number 101 Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.