Private hire cab driver guilty of plying for hire

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A PRIVATE hire cab driver has been fined hundreds of pounds after picking up passengers without a pre-booking.

Jonathon Arthur, 39, from Turnmill Avenue, Milton Keynes, pleaded guilty to plying for hire at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court last Friday (November 9).

He also admitted to having invalid insurance.

Arthur was fined £150 for each offence. He also had six points endorsed on his driving licence and was ordered to pay legal costs of £800.

Magistrates heard how in February 2011 a joint Milton Keynes Council and Thames Valley Police test purchase enforcement operation was carried out.

Officers approached a waiting taxi outside the Groove night club in Central Milton Keynes and were taken to their requested destination without the fare being pre-booked.

Licensed private hire drivers in a private hire vehicle must only accept fares that are pre-booked via an operator.

In this instance Mr Arthur accepted a fare that had not been pre-booked, which breaks the terms of his licence, breaches the legislation and invalidates his insurance.

Head of the regulatory unit at the council, Karen Ford, said: “Stay safe this Christmas by planning your evening, pre-booking a ride to get you home and not getting into a cab with ‘pre-booked only’ on the door unless you have booked that taxi in advance.

“The only time you should get into a vehicle without pre-booking is a licensed ‘hackney carriage’ and these will have the word ‘Taxi’ in a light bar on their roof.”