Get home safe this Christmas

When out and about enjoying the festivities this Christmas, don’t forget who’s going to be driving you home.

Leaving the car so you can enjoy a drink is a good idea, but please make sure if you are taking a taxi home, you only use licensed taxis and minicabs.

At this time of year, as at any other, there are bogus drivers trying to earn illegal cash by offering lifts to unwary passengers. They may be driving unsafe and uninsured vehicles.

“Sadly, Christmas is a time when we would expect to see an increase in the number of unlicensed taxis operating in the District.” warned Councillor Nigel Coltman, Chairman of the Council’s Licensing Committee.

All licensed drivers with a Wealden licence badge undergo a strict application process, and will only retain their licences if they can continue to pass regular medical and criminal record checks,”

“It doesn’t take a moment to check that both the car and driver are licensed. In doing so you can stay safe and enjoy your Christmas and New Year outings with the additional peace of mind.”

“Remember, No Plate, No Badge = NO RIDE.”

All taxis licensed by Wealden District Council are subject to annual insurance checks and a full mechanical inspection every six months.
Two types of taxis operate in Wealden:

Hackney Carriages can wait at taxi ranks or be hailed in the street. They must display a white roof sign, licence badges on both rear doors, and a white licence plate on the rear of the vehicle. Every Hackney Carriage also carries a meter, which will be activated when the driver pulls away. A copy of the Council’s tariff card should be on display. Details of fares are available on the Wealden website:

Private Hire Vehicles must be pre-booked through a licensed Private Hire Operator and cannot be flagged down in the street. They are identifiable by yellow licence badges on the rear doors and a yellow licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.

All rear licence plates carry, in addition to a large licence number, the make and model of the vehicle, its registration number, and the number of passengers it is licensed to carry. Please do not embarrass the driver by asking them to exceed the passenger number.

Posters are being displayed in local pubs and clubs reminding revellers to stay safe by making use of licensed taxis.