A TRANSPORT for London licensed Uber taxi driver has been hit with a £680 fine after illegally plying for hire in Reading.
Aldin Stefanov, age 46, of Kintbury Walk, Reading, was found guilty of illegally plying for hire on Sunday 27 August 2016 during the Reading Festival weekend.
Council licensing officers carried out a number of test purchases during the Reading Festival weekend, which resulted in the identification of a number of drivers working illegally, including Mr Stefanov.
At Reading Magistrates’ Court on 3 February 2017, Mr Stefanov pleaded guilty and was fined a total of £680. He was found guilty of plying for hire illegally and fined £250, he was also ordered to pay legal costs of £400 and a victim surcharge of £30.
Cllr Paul Gittings, Reading’s Lead Member for Consumer Services, said:
“This is a positive outcome which upholds regulations that are in place to protect the public. I hope cases such as this will serve as a deterrent to drivers who are tempted to work illegally in Reading.
“Reading’s Licensing Committee took the decision to reject Uber’s application for a private hire operating licence in March 2016. It is unfortunate that some drivers continue to flout this decision. Hopefully this prosecution sends out the message that Reading will not tolerate illegal taxi activity.”
Test purchases and spot checks are carried out to protect the public by ensuring drivers and vehicles meet the standards set by Reading Borough Council and current taxi legislation.
Uber taxis are not permitted to ply for hire in Reading as they are not licensed by the Council.
Uber Britannia Ltd applied for a for a Reading private hire operating licence in in March 2016. The licensing committee rejected the application on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence of demand, no clear evidence about the number of vehicles that would be operating in Reading and no clear indication of how or by whom the Uber office would be manned. There were also concerns there was no safe and lawful place for the vehicles to park when they were not driving.