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.
Boston Borough Council is concerned that some people are posing as taxi (Hackney Carriage) or private hire drivers without any of the necessary approvals.
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.
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.
Taxis, which can ply for hire on a taxi rank (situated at Market Place, Wide Bargate, the railway station and Bond Street, near the bus station, only), get hailed off the street and be pre-booked, must display a roof sign and have a meter fitted. All taxis must display the tariff sheet provided by taxi licensing. The council sets the maximum fares which can be charged.
Private hire vehicles can only be pre-booked and have to run under a private hire operator's licence. Fares for private hire bookings are not regulated and should be agreed at the time of booking.
It is a criminal offence to operate a taxis or private hire vehicle without the appropriate licences. Boston Borough Council investigates cases of unlicensed drivers and vehicles and will take appropriate action including prosecution.
If you suspect a vehicle is being used as an illegal taxi or private hire vehicle please report this matter to Boston Borough Council's Licensing Team at
firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01205 314214.