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Spot checks to stop dubious taxi drivers running for cover

23/11/2013

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By Tom Edwards

DUBIOUS taxi drivers who try and escape on-the-spot checks in Worcester won’t be able to get away anymore.

Worcester City Council says too many cabbies see enforcement workers coming for random inspections and flee because they realise their vehicles will fail.

From now on, instead of walking down Foregate Street to flag down drivers, names from the city council’s list of 311 vehicles will be picked out and their vehicles checked that day.

The tactic is designed to put a stop to rogue drivers who know they are in an unfit cab, but get away with it.

It follows a report showing how 29 taxis were pulLed over for spot checks this year, and only nine were good enough.

Carl Phillips, from Worcestershire Regulatory Services, speaking during a licensing committee meeting, said: “With a lot of these enforcement exercises, when the drivers know we are out and about, the bad people go to ground.

“From now on, we will issue directive notices to certain vehicles during the day, and that will find out whether they’re in good vehicles or not.”

Politicians backed the change of tactic, with some saying they were surprised by the figures.

Councillor Alan Amos said: “What this is saying is that only nine out of 29 vehicles were found to be sound and compliant with our licensing rules, it’s extraordinary.”

Of the 20 that were deemed not good enough, three were suspended be-cause they had serious problems and 17 had very minor issues, like small dents or cracked mirrors.

All the taxis were pulled over and checked over at a garage by mechanics.

Councillor Simon Cronin said: “It’s about trying to stop these vehicles getting into a bad condition and picking up things along the way, rather than spotting major faults once they are there.”

Councillor Roger Knight said it was well-known that cabbies with problem vehicles “run for cover” when officers try and pull them over.

None of the taxis picked up near schools were found to have any faults.

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http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/10829835.No_hiding_place_for_rogue_cabbies/

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