Published on 6th December 2018
Two private hire drivers have appeared at court charged with driving offences.
Birmingham private hire driver, Mr Rub Nawaz was found guilty on Monday 26 November, of illegally picking up passengers in Cheltenham during the Cheltenham Festival in March 2018.
Mr Nawaz did not attend court and was found guilty in his absence. He was imposed with a fine of £450 for the offence of plying for hire, £675 for the offence of no insurance, and the Magistrates ordered that six penalty points be put on Mr Nawaz`s driving licence. Mr Nawaz was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £112 and costs of £620.
On Monday 19 November, Tewkesbury private hire driver, Mr Anthony Obi pleaded guilty to illegally picking up passengers in Cheltenham during the Cheltenham Festival also in March 2018.
Mr Obi received six points on his licence for having inadequate insurance and may now face revocation of his licence by his licensing committee.
Sarah Hughes, licensing enforcement officer for Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “As these drivers were not Cheltenham licensed hackney carriage drivers, they committed offences by accepting a request of journeys that had not been booked in advance. This not only takes away legitimate business of the taxi trade in Cheltenham but renders any insurance of their vehicles invalid.
“I hope that this prosecution gives a warning to drivers who wish to capitalise on the additional footfall to Cheltenham during any of Cheltenham`s racing festivals that we will take action should they operate unlawfully.”
Cllr Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, continues: “Every year drivers are caught plying for trade unlawfully and face revocation of their licence.
”All private hire vehicles must be booked in advance and only hackney carriage vehicles licensed by the authority in which a customer is in, can accept the request of a journey from a customer at the roadside.
“We would advise the public when visiting Cheltenham, to either pre-book a private hire vehicle in advance through an operator or take a journey with a Cheltenham licensed hackney carriage vehicle. We thank the support from our neighbouring Local Authorities in the additional support they provide to us during this busy time.
Contact: Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154, email firstname.lastname@example.org
On Monday 26 November 2018, Cheltenham Magistrates Court heard that on the evening of Wednesday 14 March 2018 two council officers from Cheltenham Borough Council saw a white VW transporter private hire vehicle licensed by Birmingham City Council on Cheltenham’s Bath Road.
The vehicle was, driven by Mr Rub Nawaz who is licensed as a private hire driver by Birmingham City Council.
On the evening of 14 March Mr Nawaz stopped his private-hire vehicle after one of the council’s officers raised their arm to flag the vehicle down.
Officers approached Mr Nawaz, and, acting as customers, asked him if he was free and available to take them on a journey of their choosing. Mr Nawaz confirmed that he was free and suggested a price of £15 for the journey. The driver invited the officers to get into his vehicle and drove with officers in the car until officers asked that the driver pull over.
Mr Nawaz was also witnessed by a Hackney Carriage driver licensed by Cheltenham Borough Council with customers in his car on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 March 2018.
On Monday 19 November 2018, Cheltenham Magistrates Court heard that on the evening of Thursday 15 March 2018 two council officers, one from Cheltenham Borough Council and the other from Gloucester City Council, saw a black Peugeot 407 private hire vehicle licensed by Tewkesbury Borough Council on Cheltenham’s High Street.
The vehicle was, driven by Mr Anthony Obi who is from Birmingham and is licensed as a private hire driver by Tewkesbury Borough Council.
On the evening of 15 March 2018 Mr Obi stopped his private-hire vehicle after one of the officers raised their arm to flag the vehicle down.
Officers approached Mr Obi, and, acting as customers, asked him if he was free and available to take them on a journey of their choosing. Mr Obi confirmed that he was free and suggested a price of £20 for the journey. The driver invited the officers to get into his vehicle and the vehicle drove off with officers in the car until officers asked that the driver pull over. Mr Obi was cautioned and reported for illegally plying for hire.