Neath Port Talbot cabbies face action over unsafe taxis
TAXI owners whose cars were ordered off the road after being found to be unsafe could face further action.
Police and council licensing officials carried out a series of random tests in the Neath Port Talbot area.
Ten of the 17 vehicles checked were issued with immediate prohibition orders for various defects.
Most of them were for defective tyres, with one car found to have three of them.
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Neath Port Talbot Council licensing manager Neil Chapple said: "I was particularly concerned about the number of vehicles found to be unsafe.
"Discussions will now take place as to whether further action should be taken against the owners in question.
"Any sanctions will be decided by the licensing committee, but they could range from a warning to suspension, or even revocation, of the taxi licence."
In the meantime, the owners face a two-stage process to get their vehicles back on the road.
As the prohibition orders were issued by the police, owners will now have to get a full MoT check carried out and take the certificate to a police station. Neath Port Talbot Council has also suspended the taxi licences and the owners must apply to have this lifted.
"There is a fair bit of running around owners will have to do, but at the end of the day it's all down to public safety and that is our main concern," added Mr Chapple.
Chief Superintendent Cliff Filer, head of specialist operations, said the defective rate of almost 60 per cent was alarming.
"We regularly run taxi safety operations and it is unacceptable that some vehicles are not adequately maintained," he said.
Bob Hoyles, from Ash Cabs in Port Talbot, said the vast majority of owner-drivers in the county had safe cars.
"They are self-employed and if they lose their cars they lose their livelihoods.
"But we do have concerns about cars operating in Neath Port Talbot which have been licensed by other authorities with less stringent safety rules," added Mr Hoyles.