Taxi driver Abdo Al Arab loses his appeal against Taunton Deane Borough Council revoking his licence

Barred taxi driver who ‘gave false address’ loses appeal to get licence back

A CABBIE who gave a false address to try to get a licence has been told the council was right to block his application.

Magistrates have upheld Taunton Deane Borough Council’s decision to revoke Abdo Al Arab’s taxi and private hire vehicle and driver’s licence.

Licensing officers at the Deane House became suspicious when Al Arab gave his address as a property in Taunton, having previously supplied a Bristol address.

Their enquiries revealed that the premises was actually vacant and had been for some time and there were complaints about Al Arab using his taxi in Bristol.

They suspected Al Arab of trying to get round the authority’s rules, which state that drivers living outside the district must prove they will use their licence to drive in the Deane and not elsewhere.

The policy was introduced in August 2015 in response to an influx of applications from drivers based in Bristol looking for an easier and cheaper route to obtain their taxi driver licence.

He was interviewed by council officers who subsequently revoked his licence.

Al Arab appealed the decision at Taunton Deane Magistrates’ Court, where the bench believed he had made a false statement on his application and upheld the council’s decision.

The district council was awarded costs of £300.

After the case, Cllr Patrick Berry, Taunton Deane Borough Council’s executive member for environmental services, said: “It is very important that the travelling public has confidence in taxis, their drivers, and the local authority that issues their licences.

“We have taken positive actions to ensure that the taxis and drivers that are permitted to operate in Taunton, live in or near the area and have the necessary knowledge of the towns and the surrounding countryside.

“So our message to the taxi drivers is, ‘You have to work here to have a licence’.”