Published on 10th March 2014

Row of Hackney taxis along the Promenade taxi rank

A Private hire car driver was found guilty at Cheltenham Magistrates earlier this month for picking up passengers who had not pre-booked.

This meant that the driver was in breach of private hire licensing regulations.

The driver, Mr Faisal Butt, was fined £250 and asked to pay £300 in solicitors’ costs, as well as being ordered to pay a £25 victim surcharge.

On 13 March 2013, he was observed by CCTV operators parked on Clarence Terrace, following a request by officers on the ground. Mr Butt was approached by two males who had just left a nearby venue. They appeared to negotiate with the driver before getting into the vehicle. Operators then followed the vehicle on cameras and the journey was only a short one to Albion Street. The operator then telephoned a Police Community Protection Officer, who was nearby, who managed to interview the driver and confirm that the journey was not pre-booked.

Councillor Peter Jeffries, cabinet member for housing and safety, said: “It is against the law for a private hire car driver to pick up passengers who have not pre-booked. This is about making sure that the travelling public are aware that any taxi they flag down can only be a hackney carriage and if they use private hire vehicles they need to make sure that the journey is pre booked, otherwise the vehicle will not be insured.

“We take these issues very seriously as our primary concern is the safety of the general public.”

For more information about taxis and private hire cars in Cheltenham, visit the council’s website.

For press enquiries contact: Kelly Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154, email [email protected]