Unlicensed taxi driver disqualified from driving and fined

03/03/2020, PR-9317

A Hemsworth man, who worked as an unlicensed private hire driver, has received a significant fine and has been disqualified from driving for twelve months.

Wakefield city centre

Leeds Magistrates’ Court  heard that Keith Walker, 53, of Lodge Street, Hemsworth had been seen driving a private hire car owned and operated by Debra Tingey of 001 Cars / Tingey Taxi’s in South Elmsall when he did not have a private hire driver licence.


Mr Walker was also seen again driving the same car having picked up passengers from Kinsley and driving them to South Kirkby.


On Friday 28 February, magistrates gave Mr Walker credit for entering a guilty plea. He was fined £205 for the Licensing & Road Traffic Act offences which included no insurance and was handed a twelve month disqualification from driving. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £32 and legal costs of £531.65, totalling £768.65.

Cllr Maureen Cummings
Cllr Maureen Cummings

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Communities and Poverty, said: “Mr Walker was found to be operating as an unlicensed private hire driver and this would have meant that he was not properly vetted or insured to carry passengers. His behaviour was totally unacceptable and the court has taken these matters very seriously.


“Passengers’ safety must always come first, and I hope the disqualification and fine, sends out a very clear message that ignoring the rules will not be tolerated. 


“Our enforcement officers are out on the ground and are working closely with officers from West Yorkshire Police to detect and bring offenders to justice.”


Private hire vehicles are licensed through the Wakefield Council’s Licensing Department and once licensed, can only be driven by a driver who has been approved and licensed.