Safety warning to beware of ‘fake taxis’ goes out over unlicensed cabs

Examples of taxi plates which should be displayed in Boston.
Examples of taxi plates which should be displayed in Boston.

‘You don’t know who’s picking you up’ – that is the warning from the director of a local taxi firm about a suspected rise in unlicensed drivers.

James Lloyd, director at Angels Taxis, says he has found a number of ‘illegal taxi drivers’ offering services in the area, particularly on social media sites.

He says he has already reported 28 adverts to Boston Borough Council’s licensing department and is warning people to be careful who they choose to transport them to ensure it is a fully-licensed and registered provider.

“There are so many dangers to taking an unlicensed taxi,” he said.

“You don’t know who’s picking you up. They could be anybody.

“You also don’t know what licences they hold, whether they have the correct insurance.

“If they have an accident on the way to your destination, for example, the airport, you’re not covered.

“If the car breaks down there’s no guarantee you’ll get a replacement vehicle or recovery to take you there.”

Mr LLoyd has been pushing a ‘choose wisely, stay safe’, message – reminding passengers that legal drivers are DBS and DVLA checked, have the correct licence and insurance and have their vehicles MOT’d twice a year.

The car should have a legitimate local authority plate displayed on the rear and the correct licence displayed in the front of the vehicle.

Mr Lloyd says he has also had positive backing from other firms in the town and he has contacted the council and Lincolnshire Police.

A Boston Borough Council spokesman confirmed the authority has received a number of complaints claiming unlicensed drivers are offering unregulated transport through social media sites.

A spokesman said: “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.”

Report suspected illegal taxis or private hire vehicles by email at licensing@boston.gov.uk or call 01205 314214.