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More than 100 taxi penalty points issued

Published on 23 May 2016

A TOTAL of 104 penalty points have been handed out to Leicester taxi drivers on 26 occasions since a new pilot scheme designed to improve safety and standards came into effect.

In a further 28 cases, decisions are yet to be made over whether taxi drivers will be issued with points for a range of infringements ranging from illegal parking to driving unroadworthy vehicles.

Leicester City Council launched the penalty points trial scheme in December 2015, as a way of dealing with taxi drivers who repeatedly broke both the law and the council’s own taxi driver code of conduct.

So far, points have been issued in 20 cases for taxis parking inappropriately in restricted areas of Jubilee Square, Horsefair Street, Belvoir Street and Highcross Street, as well as parts of East Park Road, Granby Street and Welford Road, including disabled bays.

In six cases, points have been issued against taxi drivers for failing to attend a compulsory six-monthly vehicle safety check.

A further 28 cases are yet to be decided, including eight more parking contraventions, 14 instances of failing to attend taxi safety checks, two instances of driving unroadworthy vehicles and four of failing to display a proper taxi licensing plate or signs.

Taxi drivers facing penalty points have the opportunity to make representations to the city council explaining why they should not face penalty points.

In only five cases so far have no points been issued following a suspected infringement.

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “These figures make it clear that while the vast majority of the city’s 2,000 or so licensed taxi drivers comply with the reasonable standards we expect from them, there are some who are falling short of that.

“We brought in this 12-month trial of the penalty point scheme to boost customer confidence and deal with concerns that had been raised about issues such as illegal parking, roadworthiness of vehicles and ensuring drivers display the correct identification. 

“We are now four months into that 12-month period, and I intend to let the pilot scheme run its course before deciding whether or not it should become permanent.”

The 10-point scheme applies to both Hackney cabs and private hire vehicles, and penalty points can be imposed for a range of safety and standards infringements.

Taxi drivers could previously be prosecuted for most of these offences anyway, but the new pilot scheme means that anyone who accumulates 12 points within three years will be called to a hearing before to city council’s licensing committee, which can decide whether to withdraw their licence.

Full details of the pilot scheme are available at:

https://www.leicester.gov.uk/business/licences-and-permits/transport-and-street-licences-and-permits/taxi-licensing

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