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4 January 2011, 11:25
In the run up to Christmas six cars were taken off the road as a result of a surprise safety check on taxis and private hire vehicles.
On Friday 17 December, Northampton Borough Council Enforcement Officers, Northampton Borough Council Benefit Fraud Section, Vehicle and Operators Services Agency and Northamptonshire Police spent six hours stopping and inspecting a number of the town’s taxis.
A total of 21 vehicles were inspected during this check, which included both Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles. Of those, 18 were Private Hire vehicles and three were Hackney Carriages.
Half of the Private Hire Vehicles inspected had faults and six were immediately taken off the road. Five were found to have faulty or defective lights and tyres, and one vehicle was judged as being in a dangerous condition. All of the Hackney Carriages passed their inspection without any faults.
Northampton Borough Council cabinet member for Community Engagement, Councillor Paul Varnsverry, said: "At all times of year, but particularly in this season, when numbers of town centre visitors increase, the council is mindful of its responsibilities as licensing authority to taxi users and the wider public. We expect professional drivers, such as taxi and cab drivers to keep their vehicle roadworthy and in good condition. Spot checks like these make drivers aware of the importance of the maintenance of their vehicles. It is not acceptable for them to potentially place passengers, other motorists or themselves in danger. The safety of the public is our main concern, and people need to feel condident that the vehicle they are getting into is roadworthy. Northampton Borough Council will continue to work closely with their partners in taking action against any licensed driver who has permitted their vehicle's roadworthiness to fall below established requirements."