A taxi driver who drove for hire in Saffron Walden without holding a valid driver's licence has been fined almost £3,000.

Tajul Islam, of Baker Street, Enfield, appeared before Chelmsford Magistrates Court on February 16, charged with three counts of driving a licensed taxi without holding a valid taxi/private hire vehicle driver's licence.

The incidents took place last year, on August 31 and September 23 in Saffron Walden, and on October 5 in Chelmsford.

On one occasion he was witnessed picking up a passenger by Uttlesford District Council officers.

Mr Islam did not attend court but pleaded guilty to all three offences. The magistrates took an especially serious view of the most recent offence - as by then Mr Islam's insurance policy had been cancelled.


He was fined £1,080 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £432, and contributions towards prosecution costs of £1,396.

Mr Islam is no longer licensed as a taxi driver.

Cllr Richard Freeman, vice chair of the Uttlesford District Council’s Licensing and Environmental Health Committee, said: "Mr Islam continued to drive a licensed vehicle without having the appropriate driver’s licence and, on one occasion, without valid insurance.

"These are extremely serious offences, and we hope this successful prosecution will serve as a warning to others that we will take appropriate action against those who flout the law."

In order to legally drive a taxi, a number of separate licences must be in force, and they must all be issued by the same licensing authority.

Taxi drivers need a taxi/private hire vehicle driver's licence, even if the taxi is not carrying passengers - an ordinary DVLA licence is not enough.

Uttlesford District Council's Licensing and Environmental Health Committee has the power to recommend that the council make decisions on licensing and environmental health, and also determines individual premises and taxi licensing matters.

The committee is open to the public, except when dealing with individual cases.

Anyone who wishes to speak at a meeting is asked to contact the Democratic Services team by midday, two working days before the meeting, by emailing committee@uttlesford.gov.uk, or call 01799 510 369/548/410.