People in the Dearne are being warned to take care when they hire a cab this Christmas.
As the festive season approaches Barnsley Council is asking revellers not to take risks with their safety by using unlicensed taxis or private hire vehicles.
The vehicles will not be insured to carry paying passengers and the vehicle will not have been examined by the council to ensure it is roadworthy.
All licensed vehicles are inspected throughout the year by qualified vehicle examiners, and all licensed drivers undergo a rigorous application process which includes a criminal records check to ensure they are fit and proper to hold a licence with the council.
Coun Charles Wraith, Chairman of the General Licensing Board, said: “I would urge members of the public to avoid using unlicensed vehicles which can put their safety at risk. Unlicensed vehicles will not be insured and I dread to think of the consequences should an unlicensed vehicle be involved in a serious road traffic accident.
“Taxis can be hailed in the street or approached at ranks and do not need to be booked in advance. There are numerous taxi ranks around the town centre from which a taxi may be taken and we will be providing taxi marshals for the busiest nights over Christmas and the New Year to ensure people can hire taxis safely. Private hire vehicles must always be booked in advance through a licensed operator.”
All licensed drivers will have and be able to produce a Licence ID card containing the following information: Barnsley Council’s logo, driver’s photograph and driver’s number.
Always use either a licensed taxi that is clearly displaying door signs and a white licence plate on the rear of the vehicle. Alternatively, use a licensed private hire vehicle displaying a yellow licence plate on the front and rear of the vehicle and signs to the front and rear doors including the operator’s name and contact details.
Anyone with you any doubts that the vehicle or driver is not licensed by the council are advised not to get in the vehicle and inform the Licensing Section at Barnsley Council on 01226 772468 or the Police, dial 101, as soon as possible.
This year in Barnsley there will be two taxi marshals stationed at hackney carriage ranks at New Street (adjacent to Chicago Rock) and Midland Street. The marshals will help people visiting town centre pubs, bars and restaurants get home safely at the end of the evening.
Marshals will be on duty on the evenings of Friday, December 20, Sunday 22, Boxing Day, Saturday 28, and New Year’s Eve.
In addition, officers funded by the Barnsley branch of the Hackney Carriage Association will patrol the area around Queen Street and Eldon Street.