Winter revellers given illegal taxi warning by council

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People are being warned against taking ‘short cuts’ to get home by taxi licensing officers with Milton Keynes Council.

As the traditionally busy winter period draws closer, officers are specifically reminding the travelling public that private hire vehicles should only be used when you have booked them.

Karen Ford, Head of Regulatory Services at Milton Keynes Council, said: “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.

“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. Last Wednesday officers from Milton Keynes Council joined forces with Thames Valley Police to carry out an operation looking at the safety of taxis and private hire vehicles travelling around the borough.

Of the 29 vehicles checked, 15 were sent for further examination and only one of those passed that examination.

The sorts of defects found included several vehicles with nails in their tyres, brake and tail lights not working and a general poor condition of vehicles.

Karen added: “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.”

You can find out more information on taxis and private hire vehicles on the website.