England

Dangerous taxis removed from Plymouth roads

Hundreds of taxis have been removed from the roads of a Devon city because they are not considered roadworthy, a report has revealed.

Plymouth City Council said it conducted 708 roadside inspections over 12 months on Hackney Carriages and private hire taxis.

Of those, 203 were immediately removed from the roads and a further 199 required non-urgent repairs.

In a statement, the council said: "We target vehicles that concern us."

The Taxi Licensing Committee report stated that the most common reason for the removal of taxis from the roads was faulty tyres or lights.

'Disappointingly high'

The council said: "These visual inspections are not random, as frequently an experienced eye will lead an officer to select a vehicle where defects are likely to be found."

Taxi driver Paul, who would not provide his surname, said: "Some people maintain their cabs well, some people just don't because of the prices of everything. They're just trying to make things last.

"But as soon as you get in that vehicle and start driving it's your responsibility. It's down to the individual."

The council said over the past five years the number of prohibition notices had declined due to changes in regulation and general awareness but it remained "disappointingly high" and expected drivers to "carry out daily checks".

The report added that 42 drivers had been fined for smoking in their cabs over the past year, which was against the law regardless of whether there was a passenger or not.

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