A driver has lost a legal appeal against a decision to revoke his taxi licence.
In October last year, Mushtaq Ahmed, 53, from Bradford appeared before a licensing panel which decided he was no longer a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold a taxi licence.
The panel was presented with evidence to show Mr Ahmed had repeatedly breached licensing conditions and local bye-laws over a three-year period. It included him driving in pedestrian-only areas, collecting passengers from undesignated zones and not displaying taxi plates on his vehicle at all times.
Mr Ahmed appealed the decision to take his licence away and while waiting for the case to come to court was allowed to keep driving.
But, at York Magistrates Court, the licensing panel’s decision to revoke the licence was upheld and Mr Ahmed was told he would no longer be allowed to drive a taxi.
The court heard that in the time since the original hearing, Mr Ahmed had continued to breach the conditions of his licence, break bye-laws and that he had ignored warning letters sent to him from the council.
Mr Ahmed admitted the breaches, accepted that he ignored the letters and that he had misled council officials about why his taxi plate hadn’t been displayed.
In summing up, the magistrates said Mr Ahmed had showed a lack of respect for the licensing conditions and had no remorse for his actions. As well as losing his licence, Mr Ahmed was ordered to pay the council’s legal costs.
Councillor Stuart Martin, chair of the licensing committee, said:
Fortunately, the vast majority of taxi drivers working in the Harrogate district comply with the conditions attached to their licences.
I am pleased magistrates dismissed this appeal. Mr Ahmed had 12 months while waiting for his appeal to come to court to improve his behaviour but failed to. We take the safety of passengers very seriously and will take action when taxi drivers, or operators, breach the conditions of their licences.
This case should be a clear message to everyone in the trade.