Cabbies facing bans as council gets tough

Rule-breakers could have licences revoked from next year

Cab drivers and operators in South Beds will soon face bans if they fail to comply with a list of rules put forward by the district council.

Rule breakers could have their licence revoked for up to a month if they fall foul of the new regulations from January next year.

Offences that could earn drivers a ban include talking on a hand-held mobile phone while driving, refusing guide dogs, charging more than agreed and refusing passengers without a reasonable excuse.

Members of South Beds District Council's licensing committee have agreed that a penalty point scheme for Hackney Carriages and private hire companies will start on January 1.

A report by council registration and licensing officer Margaret Jones said a working group had considered the point system to be the best way forward.

It stated: "They felt that there were some operators, proprietors and drivers who failed to take their responsibilities seriously and persistently breached requirements.

"It was felt that it was the actions of these few that could damage the reputation of the trade.

"Members felt that the system should offer a suitable and cost effective mechanism for recording individual breaches as well as identifying any persistent offenders."

The council will still be able to take action through the courts for serious offences.

South Beds District Council