By Denna Bowman
A crackdown on unsafe and poorly maintained taxis revealed many are being driven with dangerous and bald tyres.
Eight drivers out of 19 had their licenses suspended during spot checks by Derby City Council during the run up to Christmas.
The enforcement officers found four vehicles had tyres below the legal tread limit and one was taken off the road because it had a completely bald tyre.
Others had poor suspension and excessive oil leaks, one vehicle had an accident-damaged bumper, another had cardboard in place of a passenger window and a door that would not open from the inside.
Licences were suspended on three hackney carriages and five private hire vehicles because of defects.
In four cases, the vehicle inspection agency issued their own prohibition notice requiring the vehicles to get a new MOT certificate.
The council said it carried out the checks last Tuesday to protect public safety at a busy time of year.
Councillor Margaret Redfern, chairwoman of the council’s licensing committee, said: “I’m horrified at some of the defects that have been discovered and I am relieved that we’ve managed to remove unfit cars from the road, particularly in the run-up to Christmas; a time when taxi usage is higher than ever.
“It’s vital that customers are confident they can use taxis that are legal and, more importantly, safe.”
Councillor Bob Troup, cabinet member for housing and the environment, added: “I would urge all drivers to ensure their vehicles are properly maintained and safe.
“Driving a licensed taxi with bald tyres is irresponsible and dangerous.”