A “dishonest” taxi driver has been stripped of his licence after a committee was told he launched a tirade of verbal abuse at a passenger who questioned a fare.
The Bolton News reports that Bolton Council’s Licensing and Regulation Committee revoked the driver’s licence with immediate effect after hearing he became aggressive when the fare was queried. They unanimously found he was not a fit and proper person to hold a licence on the grounds of public safety.
The passenger told the committee she was a regular user of the service and knew that the fare being charged was higher than usual. But when she had queried the amount of money the driver was asking for he lost his temper and subjected her to a “shocking” level of verbal abuse that also caused distress to her mother. The driver, who was not present at the meeting, had previously admitted to licensing chiefs that he “gets angry and has a temper”, but denied the allegations against him.
However, the committee found the complainant’s ac-count to be “credible” and did not believe the version of events given by the driver at an earlier interview. The committee felt that the driver had “acted dishonestly in overcharging customers and had acted inappropriately by his abusive manner and language”.
He had not told the truth when interviewed by the Licensing Unit about where he worked and who his employer was, and had also admitted he “gets angry and has a temper”.
The panel also heard how he had been sacked by his former employer for his “poor attitude, poor customer service and customer complaints”. The complaints highlighted demonstrated he had “developed a pattern of threatening behaviour”.
And the panel also heard the taxi driver had acted in an “aggressive and threatening manner” when the company asked him to return money he still owed and data system equipment belonging to the operator. The committee also took into account a complaint against the driver dating back to 2016, which resulted in the licensing unit issuing warning about his future conduct. He had been accused of driving in the wrong lane and deliberately slamming on his brakes in an attempt to cause an accident and make a fraudulent insurance claim.
The committee found that, due to its duty to ensure the safety of the public, it had “reasonable cause to revoke the private hire driver’s licence with immediate effect.”
A petition calling for Erewash cabbies to be allowed to have fully-tinted windows in their taxis has been rejected over fears that vehicles could be used to enable the abuse of vulnerable children and adults.