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THE LICENSING boss of Nottingham City Council has claimed that over 100 out-of-town minicabs are plying for hire illegally on the streets of the East Midlands city.

Richard Antcliff said cab drivers with licences from neighbouring boroughs, such as Gedling, Rushcliffe and even Wolverhampton, were openly touting on the streets of Nottingham and were a significant risk to the travelling public.

Mr Antcliff said the council could not enforce regulations against cab drivers licensed outside the city and added:

Our main concern is public safety. We have an inordinate amount of private hire vehicles (PHVs) that are illegally touting for business, which is a criminal offence.

“There are lots of local authorities that are issuing PHV licences – such as Wolverhampton and Gedling – and you end up with a driver from Nottingham going to get their licence elsewhere because it is cheaper and easier to obtain than here.

“These councils are issuing the licences, taking a vast amount of income from charging drivers for the licence and then leaving cities like Nottingham with the problem of illegal activity.

“I am under no illusion that at some point, one of these drivers will cause a nasty offence on a member of the public. Assault or sexual offences from the taxi industry in nearly every case is from an illegal tout.”

Unite-union-logoKaleem Ashraf, secretary of the Unite union, which represents taxi drivers, said:

We have had Peterborough licences here, Wolverhampton and even one minicab from Leeds. We need to clear up the city. It is littered with illegal activity and people want to know they are getting into safe cabs. This is about public safety.

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