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Two private hire drivers fined at court

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Two private hire drivers fined at court 10th December 2018

Two private hire drivers have appeared at court charged with driving offences.

Birmingham private hire driver, Mr Rub Nawaz was found guilty on Monday 26 November, of illegally picking up passengers in Cheltenham during the Cheltenham Festival in March 2018.

Mr Nawaz did not attend court and was found guilty in his absence. He was imposed with a fine of £450 for the offence of plying for hire, £675 for the offence of no insurance, and the Magistrates ordered that six penalty points be put on Mr Nawaz`s driving licence. Mr Nawaz was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £112 and costs of £620.

On Monday 19 November, Tewkesbury private hire driver, Mr Anthony Obi pleaded guilty to illegally picking up passengers in Cheltenham during the Cheltenham Festival also in March 2018.

Mr Obi received six points on his licence for having inadequate insurance and may now face revocation of his licence by his licensing committee.

Sarah Hughes, licensing enforcement officer for Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “As these drivers were not Cheltenham licensed hackney carriage drivers, they committed offences by accepting a request of journeys that had not been booked in advance. This not only takes away legitimate business of the taxi trade in Cheltenham but renders any insurance of their vehicles invalid.

“I hope that this prosecution gives a warning to drivers who wish to capitalise on the additional footfall to Cheltenham during any of Cheltenham`s racing festivals that we will take action should they operate unlawfully.”

Cllr Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, continues: “Every year drivers are caught plying for trade unlawfully and face revocation of their licence.

”All private hire vehicles must be booked in advance and only hackney carriage vehicles licensed by the authority in which a customer is in, can accept the request of a journey from a customer at the roadside.

“We would advise the public when visiting Cheltenham, to either pre-book a private hire vehicle in advance through an operator or take a journey with a Cheltenham licensed hackney carriage vehicle. We thank the support from our neighbouring Local Authorities in the additional support they provide to us during this busy time.

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