As the Staff Christmas Party season reaches it’s busiest time, a warning has been issued about rogue taxis.
The taxi section of the Unite Union in Liverpool is urging passngers to be vigilant when choosing a cab. Paul James, a branch member who delivers taxi driver training, is worried that unlicensed drivers will try to cash in during Christmas and New Year putting public safety at risk.
With christmas party nights, cold weather and people in a rush to get to their destination, demand for cabs will steadily rise over Christmas and in the run up to the New Year. Paul offers the following advice:
“An unlicensed cab will not be insured so check before you get in. Only black cabs with their light on can be flagged on the street and taxi ranks. Private hire vehicles need to be booked in advance and are not permitted to speculatively pick up at hackney cab taxi ranks or anywhere else.”
Liverpool City Council has recently announced plans to start random drug tests among its own licensed drivers. Paul adds:
“There are many thousands of drivers licensed by other councils picking up and dropping off across Liverpool. Passengers should think about a conscious decision to support their local drivers, all of whom are small independent businesses in their own right.”
Passengers are being urged to check vehicles before getting in. Karen Long, General Manager with Liverpool’s oldest black cab firm ComCab explains the benefit of using a black cab:
“To drive a black cab, drivers are licensed and have undergone a thorough DBS check. Bona fide drivers display their individual identification badge inside the taxi and all vehicles have a yellow taxi plate on the rear bumper. The plate shows they are approved by Liverpool Council, and that vehicles meet the required safety standards. The best advice we can give people is to allow plenty of time for their journey and to try their best to be patient at what is the busiest time of the year.”
Using a taxi app or calling for a cab in Liverpool are recommended by taxi firms, as a way to give people peace of mind. Using an app allows passengers to see how far away their cab is and journeys will always be logged.
"There are many thousands of drivers licensed by other councils picking up and dropping off across Liverpool. Passengers should think about a conscious decision to support their local drivers."
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