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Swansea taxi licence bid turned down by judge Published Date: 17/08/2023

An applicant refused a taxi licence by Swansea Council has been ordered to pay £4,000 in costs after his appeal against the decision was thrown out by a judge.

Mohammed Rashid, 47, went to court to try to overturn a decision by Swansea Council's licensing committee that he was not a fit and proper person to have a licence that's legally required for anyone who wants to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle.

But the judge sitting at Newport Magistrates Court agreed with Swansea Council, after hearing all the evidence presented by council lawyers and by Mr Rashid.

David Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Performance, welcomed the judge's support and added:

"This case demonstrates Swansea Council's determination to ensure people are safe when using taxis.

"Someone getting into a taxi or booking a private hire vehicle after a night out, for a trip to the shops or to see friends needs to know the person behind the wheel is a safe and suitable driver."

The court sitting on July 19 heard that Rashid's taxi licence had been revoked by Swansea Council in 2015 following a number of concerns raised with the council about his suitability to be a taxi driver. The following year he applied for a licence to another licensing authority and was turned down.

In his latest application to Swansea Council for a licence in November last year, he did not disclose the 2016 refusal or a speeding offence, both of which he was required to do.

Council officers looking into his application discovered the information, presenting the issues and other evidence about his suitability as a taxi driver to the licensing committee which then turned down his application.

Ordering him to pay council costs of £4,000, the judge said that as a taxi driver, responsibility and trust is paramount and that all drivers as part of their role will come into contact with the vulnerable. Therefore, higher standards were required. 

Cllr Hopkins said:

"Customers need to feel safe and secure when they get into a taxi or private hire vehicle. They can play their part too by checking before they get into a taxi that both the vehicle and the driver is licensed."