Published Friday 8 December 2023 at 11:51
A multi-agency operation to help ensure taxis on roads in Blackburn with Darwen are safe took place on Wednesday 6 December.
Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Taxi Licensing team joined forces with the local Police Task Force team and a DVSA vehicle examiner to pull over passing taxis and carry out spot checks.
Over 40 vehicles were stopped by the Police and checked over by the DVSA inspector. The kind of checks carried out on vehicles were those that taxi drivers are expected to do before starting a shift: working lights, tyres in good order, windscreen wipers working properly etc.
Out of over 40 checks, just two vehicles were found to have tyre faults that needed dealing with straight away. The drivers were sent away and reported back the same day to show that the faults had been rectified.
Taxi Licensing officers checked that all the correct licences were in place and vehicle licence plates and signs were displayed and the drivers had licence badges. Only one driver from Blackburn with Darwen was found to have lost his taxi driver’s licence badge and was sent to get a replacement straight away.
Councillor Jim Smith, Executive Member for Environment and Operations, with responsibility for taxi licensing said:
The Council has a duty of care to protect local people who travel by taxi, and this is something we take very seriously.
Not all the vehicles we stopped during this multi-agency operation were licensed by Blackburn with Darwen – others were licensed in Hyndburn, Pendle, Bolton, Bury, Sefton, Wolverhampton and Slough. However it’s important that we ensure, as much as we can, that taxis carrying passengers around the borough, are legal and safe.
My thanks goes to the Police and DVSA for supporting our own Taxi Licensing team in this operation at an optimum time for reliance on taxis for our local residents.
Sgt Aled Jones-Roberts from Blackburn with Darwen Police, said:
We work closely with partners to ensure vehicles are safe and legal to be on the roads of Lancashire. The public rightly expect that vehicles driven by professional drivers should be safe and road legal and we are pleased that so many vehicles passed the checks.
If and when they don’t meet those standards, we will take the appropriate action. These multi-agency operations will continue.
Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Taxi Licensing team have shared the following tips on ensuring safe taxi travel over the festive season:
- Never get into a private hire vehicle that you haven’t pre-booked through a Licensed Operator, as it will not be insured for your journey.
- If you hail a taxi in the street or get into one on a rank, make a note of the vehicle licence number
- Always check that your driver is licensed and has their badge on display before getting into a taxi or private hire vehicle.