Wealden District Council is encouraging festive revellers to stay safe over the Christmas period by using only licensed taxis.
The season to be jolly unfortunately offers bogus drivers, who may be driving unsafe and uninsured vehicles, an opportunity to capitalise on unwary passengers.
All taxis licensed by Wealden District Council are subject to annual insurance checks and a full mechanical inspection every six months.
“Our licensed drivers undergo a stringent application process, and will only retain their licences if they can continue to pass regular medical and criminal record checks,” explained Councillor Nigel Coltman, chairman of the Council’s Licensing Committee. “If you are looking forward to partying the night away this Christmas, make sure you get home safely by being able to clearly recognise a licensed taxi. Here’s a simple rule to remember: NO BADGE, NO PLATE = NO RIDE. By taking a moment to check both car and driver are licensed, you can make sure you stay safe and have a happy Christmas.”
Two types of taxis operate in Wealden:
Hackney Carriages can wait at taxi ranks or be hailed in the street. They must display a white roof sign, licence badges on both rear doors, and a white licence plate on the rear of the vehicle. Every Hackney Carriage also carries a meter, which will be activated as your driver pulls away. A copy of the Council’s tariff card should be on display. Details of current fares are available on the Wealden website.
Private Hire Vehicles must be pre-booked through a licensed Private Hire Operator and cannot be flagged down in the street. They are identifiable by yellow licence badges on the rear doors and a yellow licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.
All rear licence plates carry, in addition to a large licence number, the make and model of the vehicle, its registration number, and the number of passengers it is licensed to carry. Please do not embarrass the driver by asking him to exceed the passenger number.
Posters are being displayed in local pubs and clubs reminding revellers to stay safe by making use of licensed taxis.