Magistrates dismissed Sahrish Rahat Ayub’s appeal against City of Wolverhampton Council’s decision to revoke her private hire driver licence.
On 29 April, 2020 council officers received a complaint that Miss Ayub, aged 25, had picked up a passenger who had not pre booked the journey, which is a requirement of both her private hire licence and car insurance policy.
She then overcharged the customer for the uninsured journey.
The customer was charged £15 for a trip to Russells Hall Hospital from her home in Dudley, which is typically priced at £7.
When questioned by council officers, Ayub, of Broadway, Shirley, Solihull, said the increased cost was a result of coronavirus.
The customer had been provided with a business card containing Ayub’s personal phone number and she told him she had set up her own business.
The court heard that Miss Ayub frequently carried the passenger without the journeys having been pre booked through a licensed private hire vehicle operator. This is illegal and contrary to Section 45 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847.
Councillor Philip Page, chairman of the council’s regulatory committee, said: “We take public safety very seriously at Wolverhampton. Placing members of the public at unnecessary risk by taking a booking without valid insurance is unacceptable.”
City of Wolverhampton Council currently operates a ‘Get Home Safe’ campaign (Get Home Safe | City Of Wolverhampton Council) which seeks to make sure the public are aware of the differences between hiring hackney carriages and private hire vehicles.
The campaign also highlights the risks involved in taking an unlicensed vehicle and how to identify a legitimate taxi or private hire driver.