a taxi plate

A TAXI driver is alleged to have made “inappropriate remarks” towards a woman, and on social media. 

That was just one of 21 complaints made against licensed taxi drivers to Torfaen Borough Council in the final quarter of the 2023/24 financial year. It also received 48 complaints about private hire and hackney carriage taxi licensing. 

Four complaints were also received in relation to allegations of unlicensed drivers or vehicles operating within the area. 

A report for the council’s licensing committee said total complaints about licensed services increased by 60 per cent in 2023/24 compared with 2022/23. 

The committee was told the council has to investigate all complaints and incidents outside of its powers are passed to the appropriate agencies. 

Complaints about licensed taxi and private hire operations included not displaying plates or signs correctly and nine licensed vehicles from neighbouring authorities parking on Torfaen designated Hackney Carriage ranks. 

Panteg Labour councillor Norma Parish said she was concerned at “such a high number” but officers said they couldn’t monitor ranks at all times. 

As well as the “inappropriate remarks” drivers were subject to complaints about undisclosed medical conditions, use or sale of illegal substances, verbal abuse or aggression towards passengers or other licensed drivers and using a mobile phone while driving.  

In March officers worked with Gwent Police, following a similar operation with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in December, which resulted in 24 Torfaen licensed vehicles being stopped and inspected to ensure they are safe. 

No figures were given for how many vehicles failed the inspections but the committee was told some defects could be fixed straight away such as a “flat tyre”. 

Other complaints dealt with by licencsing officers included five about street trading, although two turned out to be trading from inside a building so didn’t require a street trading licence. 

A licence has also been issued to the operator of an ice-cream van found to be operating without the required licence and a report of an unlicensed street trader was confirmed after the council made a test purchase. The trader has since obtained permission. 

A written warning was also issued as a result of a complaint an unlicensed scrap metal collector had been operating in Torfaen and the scrappy has now got the proper licence. 

Six complaints alleging illegal dog breeding were investigated and advice and warnings given whie one allegation is still being investigated.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *