Westside Radio Cars had its license stripped in October 2013 after it was discovered the firm was using uninsured and unlicensed vehicles. The company appealed the decision by magistrates in April 2014 and then went to Wolverhampton Crown Court when the first appeal failed.
However, the boss of Westside Radio Cars was caught driving a private hire car that was in breach of operator license regulations just days before the issue was to be heard in Crown Court. Not only did the vehicle lack details of the driver’s license number, it also possessed a magnetic door sign that was easy to remove.
Judge Amjad Nawaz rejected the company’s final appeal recently and said that hundreds of passengers were transported in uninsured vehicles. He said the advice from the local authority was ignored and the fact these illegal journeys were still taking place in July 2014 was amazing. The judge said that Westside Radio Cars showed a complete disregard for the rules in place to protect drivers and passengers in the city.
He continued by saying the local authority acted appropriately and with due diligence to protect the best interests of the public. He concluded by saying Mr Hussain, the owner of the company, is not a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold an operating license due to his failure to abide by the city’s rules and regulations.
Hussain was initially granted an operating license to run Westside Radio Cars in December 2004 though concerns about the company’s operations only surfaced in May 2013. Two months later, three of the company’s vehicles lost their licenses after it was believed they did not have the requisite insurance to carry fare-paying passengers. Within two days, another seven members of the fleet had their insurance cancelled.
Council compliance officers urged the company to follow the rules but checks showed Westside Radio Cars continued to be in breach by not having copies of important documentation such as vehicle MoT, driving license and drivers insurance. Hussain refused to comment after he was ordered to pay the costs of the case within 14 days; an amount believed to be £6,000.
Wolverhampton’s cabinet member for city services, John Reynolds, said it was not a decision that was made lightly. He said licensing services work closely with organisations in the city to make sure all requirements are met. If the safety of the public is compromised in any way, it is necessary for strong action to be taken and he said this could be seen in the outcome of this court case.