Posted by admin on October 19th, 2016
Source: Plymouth Herald
Council chiefs have praised local private hire drivers after a recent test purchase operation gave them a clean bill of health.
The test found 100 percent of Plymouth’s private hire drivers stopped during a recent test purchase operation passed.
The council revealed that over the past month two test purchase operations were carried out and of the 19 private hire drivers approached no unauthorised journeys were accepted. The taxi licensing team undertake regular test purchase operations to find out whether private hire drivers hold the correct licence to work and if they will accept passengers without a pre-booking, this is commonly known as “plying for hire.”
Councillor John Riley, cabinet member responsible for licensing said: “I’m really pleased with the results of our latest test purchase operations. We carry them out to make sure private hire drivers abide by the conditions of their licence.
“All private hire journeys must be pre-booked through their respective operator, pick-ups by private hire vehicles are not covered by the vehicle’s insurance, so this in turn puts passengers at risk. If passengers have problems the journey will not be recorded and the circumstances of any complaint are more difficult to investigate.”
Hackney carriage (Taxi) drivers can ‘ply for hire’ off the street or from the Council’s appointed taxi ranks situated throughout the city.
Councillor Riley said passengers were reminded that yellow door stickers were attached to the front doors of private hire vehicles which clearly state that the driver can only take pre-booked fares and they should not try to flag down a private hire vehicle. If they do, they are then not covered by the drivers’ insurance and passengers would be considered to have put themselves at risk.
Councillor Riley added: “I will soon be looking to engage with Private Hire drivers, Operators and Hackney Carriage drivers to seek to improve the taxi service available to Plymouth city residents and visitors alike. “Making a start with that process I would welcome observations, comments, opinions and experiences from the wider public as to the quality of taxi service currently available in the city, their views as customers are invaluable.”
The Taxi Licensing Team can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01752 304141.