Officials crackdown on Cambridge taxi drivers parking on double yellow lines

Council licencing officers and police have teamed up to check out taxis in South Cambs
Council licencing officers and police have teamed up to check out taxis in South Cambs -Credit:South Cambs Council

A total of 19 taxis have been stopped in and around Cambridge in a crackdown on vehicle safety and parking on double yellow lines. Licensing officers from South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire Constabulary carried out the joint operation.

The officials checked taxi driver badges were displayed correctly, vehicles had door signage and that they were carrying a first-aid kit and fire extinguisher. Officials also cracked down on double yellow line parking on roads around Addenbrooke's Hospital amid increasing complaints from people living nearby.

Patrols found issues with three vehicles parked on double yellow lines - including one taxi parked on double red lines at Addenbrooke's next to a “no parking at any time” sign. Problems were found with identity badges not on display or missing, and door signage not displayed.

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More serious issues were found with four vehicles that had tyre tread depth below the legal limit. The vehicle licences were immediately suspended until the tyres were replaced. One driver was made to remove a large heavy torch secured to the side of his seat, which could be considered an offensive weapon.

If found attached to the seat on any further checks he was warned that he would be arrested. Another vehicle was found with aftermarket window tints, which are not allowed under the current South Cambridgeshire Hackney Carriage and Private Hire policy.

The vehicle will be reinspected at the Council offices and, if not removed, the vehicle will be suspended. Of 19 taxis stopped, only three drivers and their vehicles were found to have no issue. The other 16 were sent either an advisory letter or issued with penalty points against their Council-issued licence.

Cllr Henry Batchelor, Lead Cabinet Member for Licensing for South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It was quite concerning that out of the 19 vehicles checked only three had no issues and were fully compliant. It is vital we carry out checks like this to ensure taxi drivers and their vehicles are complying with the law and with required standards of safety and service. We will continue with regular spot checks as being compliant with policy is a requirement, not an option. Moreover, it is necessary for both the driver and the passenger's safety and protection. Granting a taxi license is not merely a formality; it's an essential tool to help safeguard our community's journeys."

All drivers using a vehicle with illegal tyres were issued with six penalty points. If they receive further points within the next year - giving a total of 12 points or more - they will automatically be referred to the Council’s Taxi Licensing Sub-Committee to decide on their suitability to continue holding a licence.

Following the operation’s success, it is anticipated further partnership crackdowns will take place at various times throughout the year.