Twelve of 13 taxis were taken off the road after spot checks carried out in Pendle.
Licensing staff suspended the right to operate as soon as the cars were deemed unroadworthy. Some had different sized tyres on the same axle, there were missing wheel nuts, serious suspension faults, indicators did not work and one was unfit to drive. Only one car, owned by VIP, passed the inspection.
These spot check results are truly shocking. 12 were not roadworthy, and these weren’t minor failsCoun. Joe Cooney
One car, with a bald tyre, was back on the road the same day. Seven had faults repaired the following day, while others took a little longer. All were back on the road within a week.
The figures were revealed at Pendle’s licensing committee, prompting a political row over the age of vehicles used as taxis. In the spot check, the cars were mostly seven or eight years old.
Currently, taxis cannot be any older than nine years. Labour councillors wanted to remove the age limit but the proposal was outvoted by Conservatives, citing concerns over public safety.
Member Coun. Joe Cooney said: “These spot check results are truly shocking. 12 were not roadworthy, and these weren’t minor fails. As a local authority we have a responsibility to the public to make sure we’re doing all we can to protect them from dangerous taxis.”
The vehicles allowed back on the road after one day belonged to Street Cars (broken coil spring, windscreen wiper), Transporter (suspension), Owner driver (suspension), Matrix (tyre, no indicator), MBC hired out to Superline (brakes, bumper that could fall off), and UK (suspension, broken spring, illegal tyre, unreadable licence plate). UK owned a further car with a faulty indicator and a damaged bumper; it was given six days to the repair.
A damaged tyre meant a No 1 Express’s taxi was unfit to drive. It was allowed back after being tested three days later.
An Ace taxi was also tested for road worthiness after being off the road for six days with track rod end, steering, and suspension faults, and an illegal tyre.