Reading the issues in last week’s Eastbourne Herald regarding taxis and private hire vehicles [Licensed Drivers Complaints Investigated by the Council] is very disheartening.
The blame for the mess we are in lies fairly and squarely at the front door of Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC).
We do not have a dedicated Hackney carriage officer as such, we have people with fancy job titles – Senior Specialist Advisers (SSA).
The council say they robustly investigate complaints, but how can they? They’ve hardly any staff.
We (the trade) know that when you take your test you are left alone in a room giving you every opportunity to cheat.
As for spot checks, dream on. Neither me nor my car has been spot checked in more than four years, so if I haven’t perhaps no-one else has either. Drivers sharing with unlicensed drivers – who is checking that out? Answer, nobody.
If you are a parent of a daughter and you are reading this you should be extremely worried. The best thing to do is pick them up yourselves from their nights out. At present the council cannot guarantee that the driver of the car your daughter gets into is a licensed EBC driver, he could be anyone.
Annemarie Field is right. EBC have an over-riding duty of care to protect the safety and welfare of the public but it seems they couldn’t care less.
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