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Gloucestershire Business News

Unlicensed private hire drivers prosecuted

Tewkesbury Borough Council has successfully prosecuted two people for offences relating to licensing and operating private hire vehicles.

On March 18, Gareth Casey, owner of Casey's Transfers, pleaded guilty to operating a private hire vehicle that was not licensed. On the same day, Robert Baxter pleaded guilty to driving a private hire vehicle that was not licensed.

Both Mr Casey and Mr Baxter were fined £500 and ordered to pay victim surcharge of £200. They were also ordered to each pay £500 costs to the council.

In March 2023, Mr Baxter received a penalty charge notice for a bus lane violation. In June 2023, he requested confirmation from Tewkesbury Borough Council of his vehicle's private hire licence to enable him to challenge the violation, however he was informed by the council that the vehicle was not licensed for private hire work. Nonetheless, Mr Baxter continued to use his vehicle for private hire work until September 2023.

Mr Casey explained he was not aware that the vehicle was not licensed and that he did not make the adequate checks with his driver, Mr Baxter. Enquiries revealed that the unlicensed vehicle had been used for over 100 bookings between January and September 2023.

Peter Tonge, director of communities at Tewkesbury Borough Council, said: "We are committed to enforcing private hire licensing regulations and conduct thorough checks to make sure all licence holders are safe and suitable to carry out private hire work.

"I'd like to remind all operators and drivers of private hire vehicles to adhere to these regulations in order to uphold standards and trust in our community."

The prosecution was brought by Tewkesbury Borough Council's licensing team with assistance from both the council's Counter Fraud and Enforcement Unit and One Legal, a legal service shared by Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucester City Council, Stroud District Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council.

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