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Taxi driver loses licence after abandoning passengers on busy road

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Taxi driver loses licence after abandoning passengers on busy road 12th December 2018

A taxi driver who left two passengers in ‘grave danger’ has lost his licence to operate in North West Leicestershire.

The two women were left on an unlit stretch of the A46 dual carriageway near Glenfield in poor weather at 1am following a dispute in the taxi about the fare.

The passengers reported the incident to North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) and the driver was called to appear in front of its licensing committee on Tuesday 20 November.

The committee members advised they were ‘deeply concerned’ about the driver’s actions, which had left the two people in ‘grave danger’ by the side of a busy road in the dark with no safe way getting home. They found that, regardless of any dispute about the fare, drivers have a duty to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of the customers.

The driver’s licence to operate in North West Leicestershire was revoked.

NWLDC is currently working with partner organisations to promote the Celebrate Safely campaign in the lead up to Christmas. This campaign promotes the public’s use of licensed taxis as a means of getting home safely as opposed to using unlicensed vehicles or drink-driving.

This case underlines NWLDC’s commitment in ensuring that the licensed taxi drivers in the district are fit and proper, and are prioritising public safety.

Councillor Robert Ashman, Chairman of the Licensing Committee, said: “This was an alarming case where two intoxicated passengers were left in darkness by a busy stretch of road in very real danger of being hurt by another vehicle.                                                                           

“We accept there may have been a dispute over the fare but there is no circumstance where a licensed driver should abandon passengers in a situation that potentially puts their lives in danger.

“We acknowledge drivers can encounter difficult passengers, but as licensed drivers they are aware of how they can deal with issues that arise. The actions of this driver clearly did not meet this standard and as a result we have revoked the licence.”

Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services at NWLDC, said: “While we encourage people to use licensed taxis as part of our Celebrate Safely Campaign, we also need to make sure customers are safe. We also ask that both our taxi drivers and customers respect each other.  

“Our licensing team has an important duty to ensure that licensed drivers understand their responsibilities in getting customers home safely and this case sends a strong message.

“I would like to encourage people to be respectful of our taxi drivers this Christmas – they do a great job and don’t deserve under any circumstances to be harassed or abused. Drivers are well aware that a police station can be the perfect place to drop off these kinds of customers!” 

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