Taxis suspended during crackdown on illegal vehicles in Harrogate

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Taxis have been suspended in Harrogate following licensing checks by police officers as part of a crackdown on illegal vehicles.

North Yorkshire Police's Roads Policing Group teamed up with Harrogate Borough Council and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) for the operation on Friday.

Four taxis in the town have been suspended from working by the council over licensing breaches.

A total of 16 vehicles were checked during the operation, which was launched to ensure drivers were properly licensed and that vehicles were safe to carry customers.

The vehicles underwent full mechanical examinations for defects by the DVSA.

Two were ordered off the road because of faults, and another vehicle was found to have a brake defect.

A further nine drivers were also given advice over minor vehicle issues and several others were also warned by taxi inspectors about breaches of licensing rules.

Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton said: “I want to again remind taxi drivers that it is their responsibility to ensure their vehicle is free of defects before they use it, regardless of the fact it is a company vehicle. They will be held responsible for these defects which ultimately puts their safety at risk, together with that of their passengers.

“We will be continuing these enforcement operations with our partners in the coming months.”

He said police have been conducting similar operations periodically over the last four years, in an effort to improve safety for customers.

Coun Stuart Martin, chairman of the council’s licensing committee, said: “As the licensing authority, the safety of passengers in taxis is paramount to Harrogate Borough Council.

"There is no excuse for poor maintenance and inadequate daily checks. The council will follow up with further action where vehicle safety falls below the required standard.”