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Plan your journey and stay safe this Christmas

With the festive party season now in full flow, people are reminded to plan their journey home so their big night out ends safely.

Very often this will involve getting a taxi – and at busy times such as Christmas, we know this can be easier said than done.

But don't be tempted to accept a lift off just anyone. Travelling in a vehicle - and/or with a driver – who isn’t properly licensed could put you at risk; you will not be insured, the driver will not have been checked out and the vehicle may be unsafe.

Wirral Council licenses both vehicles and drivers to protect the safety of the public. Licensing officers carry out checks on drivers to ensure they are fit and proper and test and inspect vehicles to make sure they are safe and properly insured.

All licensed drivers are required to display a valid badge and all Iicensed vehicles must display a plate that clearly identifies the vehicle as licensed. The number on the plate can be used as a reference should anyone wish to report a concern to the council’s licensing team.

Bona fide taxis and their drivers will display their licences prominently. Our advice is; if you’re in any doubt, don’t get in – it’s not worth the risk.

Taxi ranks are always busy over the festive period, but private hire cabs can be booked in advance. By law, private hire cabs must be pre-booked. If you get into one of these vehicles without booking you may not be insured and the driver will be breaking the law.

Only hackney carriages can be hired at the roadside; they can be identified as available when they display a light on their roof.

Wirral Council will take action against any unlicensed private hire and hackney drivers. It is a serious matter of public safety, not just for passengers but also for drivers.