Liverpool, United Kingdom – A private hire taxi driver from Greater Manchester had their licence suspended as part of a police crackdown in Merseyside.
Action has been taken against a number of drivers who have travelled into Liverpool and other parts of Merseyside from Tier 3 Greater Manchester.
One driver, from Bolton, has had his licence suspended, Merseyside Police’s road policing unit said.
Enforcement action has been taken against eight others, the force said.
On Friday night, taxis from the Wigan, Trafford and Rochdale areas were also targeted.
The force publicised the clampdown in a series of tweets.
“Taxis from Rochdale and Bolton amongst the latest issued with Covid and other penalty notices as we continue to run our taxi enforcement operation with Liverpool Council,” Merseyside Police said.
“We’re looking at COVID and licensing breaches, plus any defective and dangerous vehicles.
“Working with Liverpool Council licensing officers, we have stopped private hire vehicles from out of the area to check for road worthiness and breaches of licensing and COVID legislation this evening.
“A private hire driver from Bolton had his license suspended and our activities continue.
“Eight drivers from areas including Bolton already issued with enforcement action.”
Police are carrying out the operation across Merseyside this weekend to deter taxi drivers travelling in from out of the city and to identify uninsured or defective vehicles, reports the Liverpool Echo.
Roadside checks and stops are taking place.
Superintendent Chris Gibson said that the operation is important for a number of reasons, including to stand in solidarity with the local taxi community who shouldn’t need to compete with reduced trade.
He said: “We’re carrying out this action for three important reasons.
“Firstly, to stand alongside our local taxi community, who have already had to adjust to difficult conditions and of course taken a massive financial impact of restrictions we have all lived under.
“The last thing they need, is taxis from outside the area competing for their reduced trade.
“Secondly, the risk that drivers and indeed anyone travelling to Merseyside from Tier 3 and other areas is plain to see, and I want to be absolutely clear that we will not tolerate it.
“Although real progress has been made by the people of Merseyside, the threat of Coronavirus has not gone away for anyone and we simply cannot let our guard down, or allow any behavior or travel which heightens the risk of infection within our communities.
“Thirdly, and regardless of where drivers are travelling from, our Roads Policing Unit continues to work tirelessly to identify any defective or unlicensed vehicles, which can cause huge risks for companies, drivers and their customers.
“I’d encourage all taxi drivers and operators to regularly check your vehicles, as the vast majority do. Keeping our roads safe for all road users is vital, and we know too well the devastation that serious collisions can and do cause.
“We will keep on doing all in our power to reduce this impact.”