On the 6th September 2017 at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court Richard Tregonning of Rees Street, Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil pleaded guilty to three offences of carrying out work as a Private Hire taxi without the appropriate licences.
The Prosecution was brought by the Licensing section at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.
The court was told that the Licensing team at Merthyr Tydfil undertook an undercover operation following receipt of information that Tregonning was running an illegal taxi business. An officer posing as a customer booked the services of Tregonning to hire a minibus for a party of 7 for a journey to be taken from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff. The officer was told that the price would be £80.
Officers were collected by Tregonning from the town centre. Shortly after being collected the vehicle was stopped by Traffic Officers from South Wales Police who were working with the Licensing team. After being stopped Tregonning admitted not having a taxi licence or the appropriate business insurance. Business cards were found in the vehicle advertising his minibus service. The vehicle was subsequently seized.
Tregonning was ordered to pay a total of £1,012.50p in fines and costs.
Councillor Geraint Thomas, Portfolio Member for Licensing states “The Authority is working hard to ensure Merthyr Tydfil has a vibrant and more importantly a safe night time economy. A properly licensed taxi trade plays a vital contribution to this aim. Information on unlicensed will be acted upon by our Licensing team and we ask anyone with information to come forward”
Paul Lewis, Trading Standards and Licensing Officer Manager commented “Consumers can protect themselves by ensuring they only use properly licensed vehicles and drivers. Licensed vehicles will have door signs issued by the Local Authority which displays the vehicle licence number along with licence plates which will be displayed in the windscreen and on the rear of the vehicle. Drivers must have driver badges displayed to indicate they are licensed. By using unlicensed vehicles or drivers consumers could be putting themselves at risk.”
If you have information on individuals involved in the provision of unlicensed taxi services please contact the Licensing section in confidence on 01685 725000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All information is treated in the strictest confidence.