A campaign to make sure Kettering pub and club-goers get home safely has begun.
Throughout October, Kettering Council is working with pubs and clubs to promote a new #StaySafe campaign.
Footpaths outside Kettering’s town centre pubs and clubs have been marked with brightly coloured yellow chalk paint giant footsteps, to highlight the quickest and safest routes to local bus stops, and taxi ranks.
Shirley Plenderleith, head of public services at Kettering Council, said: “We are reminding people to keep their wits about them when choosing how to get home after a night out as getting into an unlicensed taxi or private hire vehicle, is just like letting a complete stranger take you home – there are none of the safeguards that properly licensed drivers must adhere to.
“Kettering’s taxi licenses are regularly checked and the #StaySafe campaign directing visitors to official taxi ranks will help create a safer and happier environment and ensure the revellers have a great night out in our town centre.”
Kettering Council carries out spot checks to actively monitor the licenses and roadworthiness of local taxis, and say they are one of the few councils to also do this in the evenings.
Cllr Scott Edwards, Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for community and leisure, said: “Making Kettering a safer place for people to eat, drink, shop, and enjoy themselves in the evening is an important objective of the council, and it is fantastic that the town continues to be recognised by Purple Flag.”
The authority has given the following advice to anyone going out in the town:
• Plan how you’re going to get home and arrange a lift or book a taxi in your name
• Always keep the number of a reliable firm with you. Avoid private-hire cars that tout for business and are unlicensed
• If you can pre-book your taxi, make a note of the company you are using and the phone number
• When the taxi arrives, check it’s the one you booked. If in doubt, don’t get in
• If you don’t want to or haven’t pre-booked a private hire vehicle you can go to a designated taxi rank
• Check the vehicle has a taxi sign and has plates on the front and rear of the vehicle. All licensed drivers must carry and display a taxi licence badge which includes their photo
• Stick with your friends and choose a meeting point where you’ll wait for each other if you get separated
• If you feel uneasy, ask to be let out
• Never accept a lift from a stranger
• Look out for the #StaySafe footprints to direct you from bars to the nearest taxi ranks