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Calderdale Taxi Drivers Face Record Number Of Complaints | Taxi Rank

Hot! Calderdale Taxi Drivers Face Record Number Of Complaints

Recent statistics reveal a shocking increase in the amount of complaints received about taxi drivers in Calderdale. In 2010, there were 40 complaints but this has skyrocketed to 95 in 2011 with a total of 12 drivers suspended last year. Councillors in the area are to be presented with the figures which show that over 55% of the complaints are fully substantiated with the drivers in question given final written warnings. In total, three vehicle licenses and nine driver licenses were suspended.

In addition to these suspensions, another nine drivers were given verbal warnings while two drivers are the subject of legal proceedings. One of the local council’s licensing officers went to Brighouse as part of plans to prevent vehicles that are unsafe and not suitable for public transport from being allowed on the road. During this operation, various health and safety checks were performed as the officer ensured that equipment such as a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit were on board all vehicles.

Residents of Rastrick have already complained about the speed of taxis at a Police and Communities Together meeting that take place recently. Over half of the complaints issued by the public relate to unsatisfactory driver behaviour with 22 complaints made regarding plying for hire and 6 instances of overcharging. Another 14 drivers were the subject of complaints about a poor standard of driving. Over 80% of complaints were against private taxi drivers.

There are over 200 hackney carriage drivers and almost 1,000 private hire drivers in the area. The Calderdale Council have a policy which asks for each vehicle to be the subject of random and impartial testing. Last year, over a quarter of vehicles failed the Calderdale Council MOT test but the fail rate has already doubled in 2012.

Undercover police officers and licensing officers are now working together to uncover instances of private hire vehicles plying for trade illegally. Plain clothes police officers pretend to be regular customers and approach private hire taxis in a bid to try and be carried as a passenger without a regular booking. Private hire taxi drivers who pick people off the street without a prior booking are plying for hire which is against the law because that passenger is not insured nor is the taxi licensed for impromptu customers. The Calderdale Council stated that the operations were extremely successful.

Source: examiner.co.uk

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