A private driver has been banned for two months after illegally accepting a fare from undercover police to take them to Bristol Temple Meads.
The driver, called AK, had just checked in and was not showing the required ID badge or license plate when officers requested an elevator, a private council meeting said.
He told them to try the taxi stand, but the undercover cops said there were none and they would miss their train, so he agreed to take them for Â£ 7, he said. we learned at the hearing.
AK was eventually arrested by police and admitted to illegally renting, which is not allowed in private rental vehicles.
He was fined Â£ 300 and six penalty points before being summoned to a closed session of the Bristol City Council Public Safety and Protection Subcommittee.
Councilors suspended his private driver’s license for two months instead of the usual six under local authority policy after learning he had a clean criminal record and had not received any complaints since he was became a taxi driver in 1995.
Details of the meeting at which the case was discussed were recently released.
They say the driver, who holds both a private rental license and a cab car, was the subject of an undercover trial purchase operation on March 13.
They added: âHe thought he was helping someone who might miss a train, but admitted that he shouldn’t have charged them if it was a true act of charity.
âAlthough AK has insurance coverage in general, it was invalidated for this trip due to its rental request, which is a violation of the terms.
âThe officers had acted no differently than a member of the public and MK could have refused to transport them.
âThe council takes a dim view of hiring because not only does it deprive duly licensed carriage drivers of their legitimate occupation, but it also puts the public at risk, as hiring normally means insurance will be voided at with regard to this particular use of the vehicle.
“However, given that Mr. K put forward strong mitigation measures and had a lot of remorse, the committee decided that there were exceptional reasons for them to deviate from council policy and impose a shorter suspension period of two months of the private driving license but to leave the cab driver’s license intact, since cab drivers are allowed to present themselves for hire. “