Wellingborough taxi driver’s licence suspended after spot check showed car was unsafe

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A Wellingborough taxi driver has had his vehicle licence suspended after a spot check showed his car was unsafe.

Several other drivers were given warnings and told to up standards as part of a joint operation between Wellingborough Council and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

If we saw a vehicle that didn’t meet the standards we took action, and we will continue to do so

Amanda Wilcox

The operation took place on the evening of Friday, June 19, between 6pm and 11pm.

Taxis were pulled over and asked to go to a local garage either immediately or after their current job, where they were met by officers from both the council and the DVSA.

Cars were then given a mechanical inspection by the DVSA, plus a check by the council to see if both vehicle and driver met licensing requirements.

If issues were found, the DVSA was able to prohibit use of the car, and the licensing officer could take action against licensing breaches.

Sixteen vehicles were pulled over in total. One taxi was found to have a rear passenger door panel that was so rusted it had caused the catch to become loose and at risk of falling open if leaned on.

The vehicle licence was immediately suspended and the car banned from being driven used until safe.

In total, the DVSA placed immediate prohibitions on two cars, meaning they can’t be used until repaired; and served deferred prohibitions on three, giving them a set time to complete any work.

As well as the unsafe door catch, issues included worn brake pads, a number of damaged lights, and worn ball joints.

The council’s licensing officer also found that five vehicles weren’t complying with licensing conditions, including not displaying tariff sheets or internal licence plates, dirty interiors, and not having first aid kits, fire extinguishers or spare wheels.

Six of the vehicles pulled over were found to be satisfactory.

Amanda Wilcox, licensing manager at the council, said: “This was a planned joint operation, and it proved to be very worthwhile.

“Our priority is to keep the public safe when they travel by taxi, and all licensed vehicles must be safe, well maintained and comply with licensing conditions.

“All licensed drivers are responsible for checking their cars before they set out to transport any member of the public.

“Vehicles are given two routine inspections a year, but between these routine checks standards can start to slip.

“Driving a licensed vehicle comes with a responsibility, and it became clear from this operation that more than half of owners and drivers thought the rules didn’t apply to them.

“From cars not in a roadworthy condition, to minor breaches of licensing requirements – if we saw a vehicle that didn’t meet the standards we took action, and we will continue to do so.”

If anyone is concerned about the condition of any licensed vehicle in the borough, they should contact the council’s licensing team on 01933 231966 or email licensing@wellingborough.gov.uk.