Fine for Rushden driver who picked up illegal fares

L12-485    17/4/12'Barry Neale, head of the bench outside Luton Magistrate's Court.'wk 16 BC JX ENGPNL00120120417151131
L12-485 17/4/12'Barry Neale, head of the bench outside Luton Magistrate's Court.'wk 16 BC JX ENGPNL00120120417151131
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A private hire driver from Rushden has been fined for “plying for hire” by picking up unbooked passengers.

Michael John Charlton, 68, from Lilac Grove, Rushden, was convicted at Luton Magistrates Court last week.

Only licensed taxis, also known as hackney carriages, are able to pick up customers from ranks or by being hailed.

The case was brought by Central Bedfordshire Council after a crackdown by undercover officers.

Council officials have warned of the severe consequences for passengers travelling in an uninsured vehicle and also say private hire drivers who ‘ply for hire’ take away trade from licensed taxi drivers.

Cllr Brian Spurr said: “We want to make sure that when you get a taxi or book a private hire vehicle, that you’re insured during that journey.”

Charlton’s fine and costs totalled more than £1,220.