A JOINT operation led by Carlisle City Council and Cumbria Police’s Carlisle Local Focus team has been hailed a success.

The council’s licensing team and Carlisle Local Focus officers took part in a joint operation last week with other agencies looking at the safety of taxis and to ensure the drivers were correctly licensed and insured.

Working with officers from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Departments of Work & Pensions (DWP) officials checked 62 taxis and their drivers.

Five of the vehicles were given immediate prohibitions, this included six defective tyres (one vehicle had two defective tyres) and a lighting offence. This required immediate action and the vehicle defects were rectified before being allowed to proceed.

Councillor Jo Ellis-Williams, chairwoman of the council’s licensing committee and regulatory panel, said: “The safety and welfare of the taxi travelling public is of paramount importance to us which is why we are committed to ensuring that all operators, vehicles and drivers meet the required standards and that they are operating within the law. One-off unannounced taxi inspections are a good example of the effective proactive work being carried out by our licensing officers in the interests of public protection.”

Sergeant Chris Blain said: “This operation demonstrates that the vast majority of the drivers tested on this evening ensured their vehicles were kept in good order and complied with licensing regulation.”