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  • Taxi drivers punished for 'cherry picking' and 'plying for hire'

    Tom Martin

    LAW breaking taxi drivers from Sefton have been prosecuted as part of a crackdown to keep passengers safe and ensure they don't get ripped off.

    Three private hire drivers were punished for taking passengers who had not booked their journey in advance, known as plying for hire, and a further three black cab drivers were fined for being selective in what fares they took, rather than taking the nearest available passenger, known as cherry picking.

    The crackdown was carried out by Liverpool City Council, who during May caught 40 cab and taxi drivers, mostly from Liverpool, who had their licence revoked or served with serious defect notices for a string of faults.

    Members of the city council’s Licensing Enforcement Team patrols the city at key times on a regular basis to look for a string of faults such as dangerous tyres, damaged bodywork, sharp edges and unclean and unhygienic interiors.

    As part of its ongoing commitment to making sure passengers get a fair deal in Liverpool, the city council team also continued to crackdown on drivers who were plying for hire and cherry picking fares.

    The Licensing Enforcement Team also works on behalf of the taxi trade and during May more than 150 fines were issued to private motorists who had illegally parked on taxi stands.

    A further 53 taxi and private hire drivers were given written cautions for violations including failing to display their badges, not having valid insurance and failing to ensure the safety of their passengers.

    Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Cllr James Noakes, said: “This is another successful month for the enforcement team and it is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved that they have been able to identify so many drivers who are not playing by the rules.

    “It is regrettable that so many drivers have fallen foul of the rules when they should know the standards that are expected on them. We are committed to protecting the public of Liverpool and we know that the overwhelming majority of our taxi drivers support us.

    “The message from the city council is clear – if you come into Liverpool intent on breaking the rules or with an unsafe vehicle, you will be caught.”

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