Two Private Hire Drivers Prosecuted after trying Uber Incentive Scheme

TWO private hire drivers who tried to take advantage of an Uber incentive encouraging drivers to operate in Reading have been prosecuted for illegally plying for hire.

Bruno Cardoso, of Portlock Road, Maidenhead and Abrar Hussain, of Cannon Gate, Slough, were fined a total of £475 and ordered to pay costs of £700 after admitting to licensing offences at Reading Magistrates Court on Friday 26th May 2017.

Both drivers are licensed by Transport for London and worked for private hire operator Uber when they responded to the company’s incentive scheme called the ‘Reading Reward Zone’.

The initiative guaranteed that the first 150 drivers to log on in the Reading Reward Zone would be guaranteed between £15 and £25 per hour, depending on which hours they worked.

This encouraged Uber drivers to ply for hire in Reading where the company was refused a Private Hire Operators licence in March 2016.

Mr Cardoso, 35, admitted plying for hire in Garrard Street, in Reading Town Centre, on 27th October 2016. He was fined £155 and ordered to pay costs of £200.

Mr Hussain, 38, admitted four offences of plying for hire; twice in Valpy Street on 27th October 2016, and once in Valpy Street and once in Victoria Street, off King’s Road, on 28th October 2016. He was fined £80 for each offence and ordered to pay costs of £500.

Councillor Sarah Hacker, Reading’s Lead Member for Consumer Services, said:

“I would like to congratulate the Council’s Licensing and Legal teams for these successful prosecutions.

“The licensing regulations for taxi and private hire operators and drivers are there to protect the public and it is absolutely right that action is taken against those who flout the rules.

“I hope these prosecutions send a loud and clear message to private hire drivers and operators licensed outside of Reading that they cannot come into town and operate illegally.”

Notes to Editors

Reading Borough Council refused an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Operators Licence for Uber in March 2016 on the ground that the Sub-Committee did not consider the applicant to be a fit and proper person to hold such a licence by reason of:

a.      Not being able to manage the operation within the standard conditions that were attached to private hire vehicle operator’s licence;

b.      Not being able to show that he could comply with current conditions that could lead to vehicles not operating according to the Council’s private hire operator conditions;

c.      There being insufficient evidence as to the demand for the service in Reading;

d.      There being no clear evidence as to the number of vehicles needed to operate the service

e.      There being no clear evidence as to how the Uber office was to be manned on a daily basis.

David Millward

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