News release from: 14/11/2023
Taxi driver loses licence for using an unlicensed vehicle
A taxi driver has had his licence revoked by South Cambridgeshire District Council for failing to display the required taxi plate or door signs – invalidating his insurance.
Ahmed Al Ansar (35) of Fennec Close, Cambridge, unsuccessfully appealed twice against the decision, the latest at Cambridge Magistrates Court on 8 November.
The matter came to light when the Council received a complaint from a member of the public saying they had been picked up in a vehicle with no plate displayed on the rear and no Council issued or operator door signs.
When the person questioned this during the journey, Mr Ansar claimed the vehicle had an exemption from displaying the plate and door signs - but was unable to produce an exemption certificate to prove it.
The complainant then revealed to Mr Ansar that he too was a licensed taxi driver with South Cambridgeshire District Council, so was aware of the legislation and licence conditions for private hire vehicles. He subsequently notified the Council, supported with a photo of the vehicle and driver’s badge.
An investigation found that Mr Ansar submitted an online application for the vehicle later that same day, which was date and time stamped. As the vehicle held no licence, this invalidated any insurance.
Mr Ansar was offered two opportunities to attend for an interview under caution, but on both occasions cancelled on the day.
With the evidence provided, the Council’s Principal Licensing officer decided it was in the public interest to revoke Mr Ansar’s licence.
This prompted Mr Ansar to appeal to the Council’s Taxi Licensing Appeals Panel. The appeal was dismissed.
Mr Ansar further appealed the decision at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (8 November). This was the second court hearing as he had failed to attend a previous one in July due to illness, where he had also requested an adjournment - and did not attend.
District Judge Sheraton stated that he would not grant the adjournment, and the appeal was dismissed. A further hearing for costs will take place in December.
Cllr Henry Batchelor, Lead Cabinet Member for Licensing for South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles are vital to our communities. Elderly and disabled users, in particular, rely heavily on the service they provide, and often it is the only way for residents to access local services or get around our rural district. Drivers must therefore command the highest level of confidence before they can be entrusted with this responsibility. It’s essential we take seriously our responsibility to determine whether someone is a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a licence. All licensed drivers must ensure that any vehicle they wish to use to transport members of the public is licensed correctly, holds the relevant insurance, and complies with legislation, policy, and conditions.”
- To report concerns about a driver, a vehicle, an incident or accident or have an issue regarding safeguarding please visit our Taxi Licence Report It page