Taxi seized and four suspended in Rossendale council inspection operation

Operation Spartacus was carried out by licensing and enforcement inspectors throughout the borough

A taxi has been seized and four others issued with suspension notices after Rossendale Borough Council conducted a taxi enforcement exercise.

During the exercise, 20 licensed hackney carriages were stopped and inspected of which four vehicles were issued with suspension notices for faults such as defective lights, defective windshield, unreported accident damage, bald tyres, damaged seat belts and interiors.

Operation Spartacus was deployed by Rossendale Borough Council’s Licensing and Enforcement Unit and Lancashire Police on Saturday, May 14 throughout the Valley.

One vehicle was in such an appalling condition that Lancashire Police had no alternative but to seize the vehicle.

Council officers also issued nine defect notices for further minor faults such as vehicle cleanliness, minor bodywork damage, absent ‘no smoking’ stickers, meter issues, cluttered boot space, wing mirror damage and shabby paintwork.

Five drivers were found to be operating a hackney carriage while not displaying upon them the hackney carriage drivers badge in such a position and manner as to be plainly visible

Coun Steve Hughes, chairman of Rossendale council’s Licensing Committee, welcomed the work.

He said: “This Operation proved a very successful exercise in identifying and suspending non-compliant drivers. There is no excuse for defective lights, filthy vehicles and illegal tyres.

“Taxi drivers are professional drivers and as such they should be carrying out basic checks before, during and at the end of each shift to ensure passenger safety. Failure to wear a drivers badge is extremely serious, it is imperative that the travelling public know that the driver of a hackney carriage has been checked by the Council and that they are licensed, the badge seeks to reassure this and it is illegal to then fail to wear this.”

Tracy Brzozowski, licensing and enforcement manager at Rossendale council added: “We will continue to conduct these inspections regularly. Licensed taxis are regularly tested and further taxi inspections are scheduled to take place to ensure all taxis are safe for customers. The lack of basic maintenance and defects found on some of the taxis was disappointing. A paying customer should always expect a road worthy vehicle.”

source: http://www.rossendalefreepress.co.uk/