A SOUTHAMPTON taxi driver has had his licence taken away after he was caught over-charging passengers.

It comes after passengers using cruise ships complained he was charging them too much.

Southampton City Council’s licensing general sub-committee revoked the driver’s hackney carriage and private hire licences “with immediate effect” after he was the subject of complaints from passengers.

The driver admitted to carrying one of these allegations and during the investigation the vehicle was found to have “numerous defects” including a tyre “so badly worn a large part of it had no tread pattern”.

A spokesperson for the council said: “The committee were not satisfied this driver properly maintained the vehicle for the carriage of the public.

“As a result they considered he was not a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold such licences and was an immediate risk to the public.

He added: “This determination gives a clear indication such behaviour will not be tolerated and officers have the skills required to build such cases. “Southampton City Council is confident that Southampton licensed vehicles are generally safer compared to vehicles licensed elsewhere as drivers undergo enhanced DBS checks, pass a local knowledge test and vehicles are required to have cameras fitted.”

Chair of Radio Taxis and Southampton Trade Association Clive Johnson said: “We have got to protect the customers. If you don’t do that, you destroy your own trade. And if he had a dock permit to pick passengers up from the terminal that will immediately have been revoked as well.”