Convicted taxi driver backs change in law

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A taxi driver who was convicted for working in the borough without a Dacorum licence has vowed to appeal the decision to the High Court and clear his name.

Omar Ashfaq, who was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs, said that the law should be changed so that taxi drivers have universal licences to work anywhere in the UK.

The former business owner was running three cars in Dacorum but only had a licence to work in the Three Rivers area.

Local taxi drivers were enraged at having fares taken away and protested against Mr Ashfaq, and other drivers working illegally, until Dacorum Borough Council took Mr Ashfaq to court.

He said: “This has been ongoing for two years and I feel like I have been bullied by the other taxi companies and the local council because I was the only company taken to court.

“I will pursue the High Court appeal to clear my name.”

His taxi firm is now under new management after being taken over by business partners Mohammed Ahmed and Az Khan.

Mr Ahmed said: “The company is still going and is operating with hackney carriage licences issued by Dacorum Borough Council.”

The Law Commission has already held a consultation on the reformation of taxi and private hire laws.

One of the proposed changes is for taxi operators not to be restricted to any particular locality and to be able to use drivers licenced by different authorities.

The consultation ended in August and the commission plans to publish a final report with a draft bill next November.

Parliament will then decide whether to change the law.