Taxi drivers face fines and points after being caught parking in pedestrian crossing area

Taxi drivers are facing penalty points and fines after they were caught parking in a pedestrian crossing area in Stone town centre.

A Google Street View Image Of The Zigzag Lines Leading To The Crown Street Crossing In Stone Town Centre
A Google Street View Image Of The Zigzag Lines Leading To The Crown Street Crossing In Stone Town Centre

Some drivers were “totally blocking” the crossing, Staffordshire Police have reported, following the incidents in Crown Street this month.

Four private hire vehicles were reported to be parking on the zig-zag lines near the Crown Street crossing at the start of March. Police took action following complaints about taxis in the area.

And last week Stafford Police Tweeted that more drivers had been caught flouting the rules. The Highway Code states that vehicles must not be parked on a crossing or in the area covered by the zig zag lines.

The Tweets from Stafford Police said: “27 private hire drivers are about to receive legal forms through the post for contravening a pedestrian crossing in Stone.

“Each offence carries 3 points and a fine. 1 driver did it 4 times. This puts pedestrians at risk. It’s not acceptable and won’t be tolerated.

“The pedestrian crossing offences were all committed in a 4 hour period and involved some drivers totally blocking the crossing. We have previously advised drivers but were ignored. We don’t ask twice.”

A Staffordshire Police spokesman added: “A number of Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme taxis have been picking up fares which have not been booked and aren’t on their patch.”

Private hire drivers are only allowed to pick up passengers who have booked in advance. It is illegal for them to collect customers in the street or from a taxi rank if a booking has not been made beforehand.

Stone councillor Jill Hood has welcomed the action against drivers caught breaking the rules.

She said taxi parking issues had been going on in Stone for some time– and drivers had been coming into the town from other areas to ply for trade.

“We have been having an ongoing battle with this- it’s been going on for almost two years”, she said.

“I had a call from a man whose daughters were standing outside the Crown and Anchor (in Station Road) waiting for him one night – he couldn’t pick them up there because there were about 20 vehicles in a queue all the way down to Newcastle Road. They were stood outside waiting for him and he was really worried about them.

“Our taxi drivers in Stone are local and adhere to the rules. But we’re getting other taxis coming in and taking trade away from our local drivers.

“They’re coming to Stone to see what trade they can get and they’re parked everywhere at night. It’s going on all the time and they have no regard for the law at all.

“I think we should clamp down on them and fine them more heavily – hit them in the pocket.”

Stafford Borough Council has previously taken action against taxi drivers caught illegally plying for trade in Stone town centre. There have been several prosecutions – with convicted drivers facing fines of hundreds of pounds – after the authority worked with Staffordshire Police in joint operations to reduce risks for residents and visitors returning from nights out in the town.

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