Taxi firm owner fined for cutting corners

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A taxi firm owner has been fined by magistrates for keeping a poor record in his operator book.

Saeed Mahmood (43), of Chapel House Road, Nelson, was fined a total of £381 at Pennine Magistrates’ Court for the offence between April 3rd and May 2nd, 2014, at his company A1 Tiger Taxis in Burnley.

Mahmood pleaded guilty on the morning of trial on Thursday having pleaded not guilty in July.

Magistrates heard that on occasions in that time period, the method of booking had not been completed, the name of the hirer had not been filled in and the name of the driver was missing.

Mr David Talbot (prosecuting) told the court that the book was not in keeping with the operator’s licence issued by Burnley Council, and that certain criteria had to be filled in to the book.

Mr Talbot said that times of bookings had been changed and were not in order and other entries were difficult to read.

He said this was “unacceptable to the council” and the issue had been brought to Mahmood’s attention and all operators in Burnley in February 2013 when a letter was sent out saying records fell short of what was required.

The firm was inspected on February 4th this year and a further letter was sent out to all operators the following day.

Mr John Rusius (defending) said Mahmood had been an operator since 2006 and that neither the name of the driver had been mentioned as an issue on inspection.

Mr Rusius said Mahmood was “somewhat disappointed” to receive a court summons and on the issue of no hirer name, said people may be reluctant to give their name or personal details.

He added that as long as the operator could read the book he saw no issue and the reason times had changed and entries were not in order in the book was because people ring up and change times and may book for the following day.

Going forward, Mr Rusius concluded that a forum 
had now been set up between the council and operators which he hoped would make things clearer.