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Cambridge: Only 3 out of 19 taxis stopped in licensing crackdown get clean bill of health

Four taxis found with tyre tread below the legal limit

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Only three out of 19 taxis stopped during a joint council and police crackdown in and around Cambridge got a clean bill of health. The other 16 drivers were sent either an advisory letter or issued with penalty points against their council-issued licence.

One driver was made to remove a large heavy torch secured to the side of his seat, which the enforcement team felt could deemed as an offensive weapon.

If found attached to the seat on any further checks he was warned that he would be arrested.

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Cllr Henry Batchelor, lead Cabinet member for licensing for South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It was quite concerning that out of the 19 vehicles checked only three had no issues and were fully compliant.

“It is vital we carry out checks like this to ensure taxi drivers and their vehicles are complying with the law and with required standards of safety and service”

He promised: “We will continue with regular spot checks as being compliant with policy is a requirement, not an option.

“Moreover, it is necessary for both the driver and the passenger’s safety and protection.

“Granting a taxi license is not merely a formality; it’s an essential tool to help safeguard our community’s journeys.”

Taxi drivers were targeted in a partnership crackdown on vehicle safety, parking on double yellow lines and complying with licence conditions.

Cllr Henry Batchelor, lead Cabinet member for licensing for South Cambridgeshire District Council

Cllr Henry Batchelor, lead Cabinet member for licensing for South Cambridgeshire District Council

Licensing officers from South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire police officers carried out the joint operation to ensure taxi drivers and their vehicles were complying with relevant legislation and licence conditions.

Of the 19 vehicles that were stopped, a check was made on

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1: Taxi driver badges being displayed correctly

2: Taxis had door signage and that they were carrying a first-aid kit and fire extinguisher.

Also, under the spotlight as part of the checks, was double yellow line parking on roads around Addenbrookes Hospital amid increasing complaints from residents living nearby.

Three drivers who had parked on double yellow lines – including one taxi parked on double red lines at Addenbrookes next to a “no parking at any time” sign – received a warning.

“Problems were found with identity badges not on display or missing, and door signage not displayed,” said a council spokesperson.

“More serious issues were found with four vehicles which had tyre tread below the legal limit. The vehicle licences were immediately suspended until the tyres were replaced.”

Another vehicle was found with aftermarket window tints, which are not allowed under the current South Cambridgeshire Hackney Carriage and Private Hire policy.

“The vehicle will be reinspected at the council offices and if not removed the vehicle will be suspended,” said the spokesperson.

All drivers using a vehicle with illegal tyres were issued with six penalty points.

The spokesperson added: “If they receive further points within the next year – giving a total of 12 points or more – they will automatically be referred to the council’s taxi licensing sub-committee to decide on their suitability to continue holding a licence.

“Following the operation’s success, it is anticipated further partnership crackdowns will take place at various times throughout the year.”

 

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