Three out of four taxis failed safety tests during spot checks in Northampton

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Just one quarter of taxis checked at random in Northampton passed safety and roadworthiness tests during an operation this week.

The multi-agency operation saw 24 vehicles randomly stopped and only six given the all-clear to continue immediately.

During the operation, 22 private hire vehicles and 2 hackney carriages were stopped and inspected to check their condition and roadworthiness, and to ensure standards required for licensing are being upheld.

Offences included worn tyres, lighting defects and faulty brakes which resulted in three vehicles being forced to stop operating immediately and another given a short grace period to fix the problem.

Numerous warnings were also handed out for minor infractions such as breaching licensing conditions set out by the council.

Conservative councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for community safety and the member responsible for licensing, said: “The hackney carriages and private hire vehicles operating in Northampton must meet the required standard as part of their licensing conditions and we expect this standard to be met all year round.

“The drivers and owners of these vehicles have a duty to ensure this standard is maintained and we will take action against any vehicle that fails to meet the required safety standards.”

Labour Group leader Cllr Danielle Stone said: “This is shocking and not very reassuring for the general public.

“When people go out people they want to know that they are going to be safe and get home safely in one piece.

“The number of licencing officers have been cut back in recent years at the borough council which is unfortunate as it means checks like these are not done nearly enough anymore and faulty private hire car vehicles are on our roads when they shouldn’t be.”

The operation took place on Tuesday 16 August between noon and 2pm and involved staff from Northampton Borough Council, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and Northamptonshire Police.

Anyone with concerns about the safety of a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle should inform Northampton Borough Council’s licensing team.