Kettering taxi firm operator fined for picking up children in unlicensed vehicle

A Kettering taxi firm has been fined
A Kettering taxi firm has been fined

A Kettering taxi firm operator has been fined for using an unlicensed vehicle to pick up children from a town school.

Myra Bale, the operator of Bales Private Hire of Alness Close, Kettering, was convicted in her absence at Northampton Magistrates Court, of an offence under section 46 of the Local Government Act 1976 relating to the use of an unlicensed vehicle.

She was fined £400 and ordered to pay £500 costs as well as a £40 victim surcharge.

The court heard how in February of last year, officers from Northamptonshire County Council, while monitoring the contracts for the collection of children from schools, identified a vehicle being driven on behalf of Bales Private Hire which was not licensed by Kettering Borough Council for private hire work.

All vehicles offered for private hire must be licensed.

Shirley Plenderleith, head of environmental health at Kettering Borough Council, said: “We are committed to a high standard within our licensed hackney carriage and private hire vehicles.

“All licensed vehicles must be subject to examination three times a year to ensure that they are safe and suitable as passenger carrying vehicles.

“The use of an unlicensed vehicle for the carrying of children is unacceptable, more so by one of our more experienced operators, and we will continue to work with Northamptonshire County Council to ensure that only licensed vehicles are provided for this contract work.

“It is regrettable when standards fail to be maintained but where public safety is put at risk as a consequence, it is our duty to secure compliance by the most appropriate means.

“Responsible businesses taking the time and trouble to ensure they comply with regulations should be reassured that legal sanctions will be applied to those who blatantly disregard them.”

More information on operating private hire vehicles and hackney carriages can be obtained by emailing licensing@kettering.gov.uk or by calling 01536 410 333.