Bolton Council is reminding residents to make sure that they use hackney cabs and private hire vehicles safely this Christmas and New Year.
During the festive period more people make use of private hire and hackney carriage vehicles than at any other time of the year.
The council’s trading standards and licensing team wants to remind residents to ensure they travel safely at this time.
Residents are reminded of the following dos and don’ts:
DO: Only ‘hail’ Hackney Carriage Vehicles (London style traditional taxis). You should only approach a hackney carriage vehicle which has a lit sign and has a white plate with the vehicle licence number displayed on the rear of the vehicle.
DO: Only book a Private Hire Vehicle (saloon type cars and up to 8 seater minibuses) through an operator (booking office/base) – do not try to ‘hail’ a private hire vehicle as you may not be insured in the event of an accident. These vehicles must have a yellow plate on the front and back of the vehicle with the licence number on. They must also have the operator name and number displayed on the front doors.
DO: Make sure you give your full name to the Operator and the number of passengers so they can record full details as required by law.
DO: Contact the Licensing Team if you are contacted after the journey by the operator or driver. They can be contacted on 01204 336584 or by email at email@example.com during normal office hours.
DO: Ensure the drivers badge is on show before you enter a private hire or hackney carriage vehicle – this should always be visible by law – if not ask them to show it to you.
DO: Make a note (take a photograph if you have a phone) of the licence number of the vehicle as you enter it in case you need to contact Licensing about the driver or vehicle. You can then delete this once you have safely reached your destination.
DON’T: Please don’t drink alcohol in a private hire or hackney carriage vehicle – this is for your own safety, the driver’s safety and for the safety of other passengers. Drivers have been instructed to refuse to carry passengers that have alcohol in open containers.
DON’T: For your own safety, do not get into a vehicle which does not have the licence plate on display. The yellow or white licence plates displayed on the vehicle show that the vehicle has been tested at an approved garage within the last 6 to 12 months and was roadworthy at the time of test.
DON’T: Also for your safety, do not get into a vehicle with a driver who does not have a badge visible. These badges are your proof that the driver has undergone a criminal record check and rigorous medical before being issued with a licence.
Councillor Nick Peel, Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “People in Bolton will be using taxis at Christmas more than at any other time of the year, but we want to make sure that they use them safely.
“If they follow these dos and don’ts, we hope that they will have a safe and happy Christmas.”