Don't get taken for a ride
A warning has gone out for passengers to be sure the ride they are taking is in a properly authorised taxi or private hire vehicle driven by a licensed driver.
The council has recently received a number of complaints claiming unlicensed drivers and vehicles are offering unregulated transport, including airport transfers, through social media sites. All cases of alleged illegal taxi and private hire operations are being investigated and where information is obtained to evidence an illegal operation action will be taken.
The message is don't be tempted by convenience, availability or a cheap fare - the vehicle you get into may not be safe, you may not be covered by insurance and the driver may not be a safe and fit person.
Properly authorised taxi and private hire drivers have all these safeguards so that passengers can ride in confidence. The borough council grants the licences and if passengers are unsure they should ask to see the driver's badge. They all have to display them.
Legitimate taxi and private hire operators will be more than happy to provide potential passengers with information to confirm they hold the appropriate licences.
The licence application process ensures that licence holders meet and maintain the required standards and comply with legislation, local byelaws and licence conditions. These regulations are aimed at the safety of passengers.
Passengers can tell a lot from the look of the vehicle - every licensed vehicle will display a plate in a visible position on the rear of the vehicle. All licensed taxis will display a white plate and private hire vehicles a yellow plate. The plate displays the vehicle registration number, the make/model, how many passengers the vehicle is licensed to carry and an expiry date.
All vehicles licensed by the council are mechanically tested twice a year and drivers have rigorous checks prior to being issued with a licence. Unlike taxis and private hire vehicles which are insured for either public or private hire, unlicensed vehicles are not insured to carry paying passengers.
If you suspect a vehicle is being used as an illegal taxi or private hire vehicle, or a vehicle is being driven by an unlicensed driver, please report this matter to Boston Borough Council's Licensing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01205 314214.
Taxi! In a wheelchair? They will look after you
Taxi and private hire vehicle drivers driving wheelchair-accessible vehicles in Boston could soon, under equalities legislation, be required by law to take steps to ensure passengers are carried in safety and in comfort whilst in their wheelchair, give passengers reasonably necessary mobility assistance and not make any additional charge for carrying passengers in wheelchairs.
Boston Borough Council's policy currently requires drivers to meet these requirements, but provisions under the Equalities Act 2010 makes it an offence if drivers of those vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of the Act where a council opts to publish a list of wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Exemptions will be available for drivers who, for medical or physical reasons, cannot provide this service.
Information on wheelchair-accessible vehicles is already available, but Boston Borough Council has now, under recently-enacted provisions of the Equalities Act 2010, resolved to publish a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Boston Borough Council will be consulting with vehicle owners on the publication of the list and responses will be reported back to the council's regulatory and appeals committee on September 26.