A HACKNEY carriage driver whose vehicle was kept in a poor condition has lost his appeal to retain his licence this month.
Moncef Barhomi, aged 39, of Creswell Close, Reading, had his taxi licence revoked by the Council’s Licensing Committee on 28 November 2018 and lost his appeal to Reading Magistrates’ Court on 11 November 2019. The court dismissed his appeal, confirming the licensing committee’s decision had been correct.
During a routine inspection exercise on the taxi ranks outside Reading Railway station on 31 October 2018, licensing officers initially noted four tyres below the legal limit on the vehicle driven by Mr Barhomi. On closer inspection of the vehicle’s service history, they also found maintenance of the taxi was inadequate.
Previously, in June 2018, a group of passengers had reported concerning behaviour by Mr Barhomi, who had used his phone inappropriately whilst driving and had refused to terminate his call to concentrate on his driving when challenged by his customers.
The registered owner of the poorly maintained vehicle, Mrs Ali, aged 49, of Creswell Close, Reading, also had her licence revoked by the Council’s Licensing Committee. Mrs Ali lost her appeal on 5 November 2019 at Reading Magistrates’ Court.
Cllr Tony Page, Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “It is essential that the behaviour of taxi drivers, licensed by Reading Council, meets the high standards expected and that the Council takes action when required.
“I would like to thank the Council officers involved for seeing this case through and helping to secure a satisfactory outcome. Thanks to the hard work of the Council’s licensing team, we are sending out a very clear message that drivers must ensure their vehicles are in good condition and that reports of the use of a phone whilst driving will be taken extremely seriously.
“I hope this case acts as a deterrent to other taxi drivers who may be tempted to flout the law and put their customers at risk in Reading.”