A third of Sheffield taxis failed spot checks by officials

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More than one third of Sheffield taxi drivers inspected by council officers were found to have defective vehicles.

A report to Sheffield Council’s licensing board has revealed that of the 624 private hire and Hackney carriages checked, 210 were given defect notices for minor faults, such as brake lights not working properly.

A further seven vehicles were found to have more serious faults and their owners were sent warning letters by the council.

And two had defects so serious that their vehicles were suspended from the road until repairs were carried out – with problems spotted including tyres without sufficient tread to be safe.

The checks were carried out in the period between September 1 2012 and March 31 this year.

Sheffield Council said it had not prosecuted any taxi drivers during that period.

A total of 439 taxi drivers had their licences and conduct checked too – resulting in 201 of them being issued with warnings.

Most warnings related to drivers waiting to pick up passengers on Castle Street, where 118 warning letters were sent out for ‘causing a hazard or obstruction’ to pedestrians, cyclists and buses.

One driver, who has not been named, had his licence revoked after being jailed for six months in January for being involved in the production of cannabis.

Steve Lonnia, Sheffield Council’s chief licensing officer, said: “The taxi licensing section undertake 88 enforcement duties per year.

“The purpose of enforcement is to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the public by ensuring relevant legislation is complied with to provide a good, safe, accessible means of public transport.”