Taxi drivers usually trust that the companies they work for are well managed and that all legal matters are taken care of so that their jobs are secure along with their contracts. Generally, taxi insurance policies only cover the taxi driver and their vehicle, but if the company they work for is not being run correctly then sometimes there is little insurers can do to help.
In the case of Pete’s Taxis of Millom, business was lost for the company after a driver was involved in an accident and taken to court, where it was then revealed that the registration of the company was not under the right name. In 2007 the company was taken over from Pete Dickenson Senior by Pete Dickenson Junior, however the son failed to register the company in his name meaning that he had not adhered to legal regulations. The accident also led to a public enquiry into the firm by the Traffic Commissioner who then decided to revoke the firm’s licence for operating vehicles with more than nine seats.
This then led to Cumbria City Council deciding to strip the firm of its contract with the Sandside Lodge School in Ulverston, with a spokesman saying: “Pete’s taxis licence to operate vehicles of nine seats or more was permanently revoked by the Traffic Commissioners at the public inquiry. Our contract was suspended whilst we investigated this and whether Pete’s Taxis could contractually continue with the route. We have now taken the decision to terminate their contract for this route. We will be advertising the tender for this route in the near future. Once the new contract is awarded, we will advise parents accordingly.”
However, there has been some anger from the firm, especially as they feel that it was unfair to have the route taken away from them following the accident. Owner Tina Swithenbank who runs the firm alongside her husband Mr Dickenson said: “We are in contention with the council. We are fighting the fact that is [the contract] has been terminated. We want clarification on what grounds it has been terminated.”