Unlicenced taxis - an Xmas council warning

Rother residents have been reminded of the dangers of getting into an unlicensed taxi this Christmas.

The district council has launched an annual campaign aimed at keeping Christmas revellers safe.

As festive celebrations get into full swing, residents are warned to steer clear of drivers not carrying identity badges, or vehicles that don’t have a taxi licence plate.

“The risks posed by accepting a ride from an unlicensed taxi are obvious,” said Councillor Robin Patten, chairman of the council’s Licensing and General Purposes Committee. “As well as the possibility that the vehicle is not roadworthy or correctly insured, after a night out, you need to be confident about the person with whom you are getting into the vehicle.

“The message from Rother District Council is simple; don’t take any chances - no badge, no plate = no ride.”

Two types of licensed taxi operate in Rother; Hackney Carriages which can wait on taxi ranks or be hailed in the street, and Private Hire vehicles which must be booked in advance. Both licences must be renewed every year, with a full mechanical inspection (the equivalent of an MOT) carried out every six months.

Hackney Carriages can be identified by a white roof light and display a white licence plate on the rear of the vehicle, with the licence number repeated on white door signs. Private Hire Vehicles carry a yellow licence plate on the rear and corresponding yellow door signs.

Licence plates carry a registration number, licence expiry date and the number of people the vehicle is allowed to carry.

Most importantly, a licensed vehicle must be driven by a licensed driver, whose identification badge should be clearly visible.

This is proof that the driver has undergone a criminal record check and met rigorous medical standards before being issued with a licence.

For more information about licensed taxis, visit http://www.rother.gov.uk/article/7312/Guidance-for-Passengers