Cabbies are given clean bill of health
THE majority of cabbies got a clean bill of health by police as they underwent roadside checks during a new initiative in the town.
Officers from Wiltshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit teamed up with Swindon and Wiltshire councils, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs to carry out the two day operation in Swindon and Trowbridge on Wednesday and Thursday.
Stop-checks were carried out of private hire cars and Hackney carriages at the County Ground car park by officers who inspected them for road worthiness and safety.
A total of 53 cars were stopped over the two days with seven taken off the road and 46 found to be in good order, while one driver is to be investigated by the DWP.
PC Adrian Giles, who ran the operation, said: “Seven taxis were removed from the road for vehicle defects and another 46 complied with legislation.
“The operation was a success in that we found the majority of drivers offer a safe, legitimate service to the public.
“I would like to remind the minority that the police and taxi licensing officers are not prepared to allow them to operate outside the law to the detriment of public safety and further checks will be carried out across the county in the coming months.”
Yesterday, cabbies in the town centre reacted positively to the initiative.
Kevin Legg, 58, of Wroughton, said: “I wasn’t stopped by the police but I think it’s a good idea.
“I own my own cab and people should look after them. Mine gets inspected every six months and it’s regularly checked.
“It’s usually the brakes and tyres that need work, especially with the older cabs. I check my tyres weekly and as I’m providing a service to the public it is vital I check.
“You’d never forgive yourself if anything happened.”
Michael Lee, 48, said: “I know the police were pulling over cars and black cabs by the County Ground but I didn’t get pulled over. I rent my cab and it has regular checks so it is well maintained.”