Trafford Council is warning it will continue to clamp down on private hire drivers who break the law by picking up customers who have not booked their services.
The Council is concerned that some drivers are continuing to illegally ply for trade by picking up people from the side of the street.
The warning follows the conviction of two private hire drivers who were caught out by checks conducted at a Harry Styles concert at Emirates Old Trafford in June 2022. On 19th May 2023 at Manchester Magistrates Court, Mohammad Bashir, a private hire driver licensed by Salford City Council, of Belgrave Street, Nelson, was found guilty of unlicensed plying for hire, using a motor vehicle whilst uninsured and failing to wear a drivers identification badge.
The case, which came from an undercover operation by Trafford Council licensing enforcement officers, resulted in Mr Bashir being ordered to pay £220 for having no insurance, £575 costs and a victim surcharge of £34. He was also issued with eight penalty points on his driving licence.
The court heard he offered to take the officers, who were posing as customers, to Manchester city centre. The checks on that day were part of a series of on-going operations, mounted in response to the problem of illegal plying for hire on event/match days.
On the same day, another driver, Sharam Bahram, of Cornbrook Court, Old Trafford, was found guilty of unlicenced plying for hire and driving a vehicle while uninsured. He was ordered to pay £540 for having no insurance and told to pay £810 costs and a victim surcharge of £216. He was also issued with eight penalty points on his driving licence.
He had offered to take two undercover Trafford Council enforcement officers to Altrincham.
Cllr Rose Thompson, Trafford Council’s Executive member for Communities and Safety, said: “Trafford Council will continue to take action against those who flout laws which are there to protect public safety and in doing this, support those who trade legitimately. Within the Trafford area only Licensed Hackney Carriages can be hailed on the street without a booking. By making illegal pick-ups in this way, private hire drivers invalidate their insurance, put customers at risk and face prosecution and possible loss of their licence.”
Posted on Friday 2nd June 2023