Cabs taken off the road after spot checks in Northampton

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Eleven minicabs and one Hackney taxi were taken off the road or ordered to fix faults after the latest round of surprise safety checks in Northampton.

During Friday’s spot checks, seven cars were immediately taken off the road because they failed to meet safety standards, with offences including serious mechanical faults, dangerous tyres and problems with lights.

Another five drivers were issued with delayed prohibitions giving them four days to rectify the faults. A total of 13 drivers were cautioned for breaching the conditions of their taxi licence, and advice and warnings were issued to others.

Northampton Borough Council enforcement officers joined police and VOSA for the six-hour operation, which took place from 4pm to 10pm. They stopped a total of 36 vehicles.

Cars licensed to operate in Northampton must pass two scheduled safety tests during the year to make sure they meet the standards set by the council’s licensing conditions. As well as the scheduled tests the council and its partners carry out regular spot checks.

The council has not named any of the firms whose cars were taken off the road.

Councillor Christopher Malpas (Con, Billing), chair of the licensing committee, said: “The result of this latest spot check is disappointing. These vehicles are used to carry members of the public and our number one concern is for their safety.

“There is absolutely no excuse for drivers who fail to keep their vehicles roadworthy and in good condition. If all drivers checked their vehicles before starting work then the majority of faults could have been sorted out. They have a duty to do this and we have a duty to make sure that they do.

“As well as the six monthly checks we will continue to carry out the spot checks, and we will take action against all drivers who flout the conditions of their licence.”