A private hire driver who left airline customers stranded at the airport or failed to pick them up for their flights has had both his licences revoked.
Norman Cummings, who works under the name Wirral Airport Hopper, has lost both his private hire driver and operator licence after letting too many of his customers down.
According to Wirral council, its licensing section had “over a number of years” received “numerous complaints” about Mr Cummings after customers paid up-front for airport transfers - only for him not to show up.
That meant they were either not picked up at home and had to get themselves to the airport instead, resulting in large car parking fees or cab fares, or were left stranded upon their return, meaning paying for alternative transport home.
Chair of the council’s licensing panel, Cllr Paul Stuart, said last week: “This is an unusual case but it does show that the licensing authority will use the powers it has to take action against any driver or operator who falls below the standards expected in Wirral.”
Cllr Stuart’s words come after Mr Cummings, described as offering “unreliable service and poor practice” by the council, failed in his appeals against the licensing panel decision.
As well as leaving customers stranded without their transfer, the company also failed to make refunds until complaints were made to the council’s licensing section. Some customers never received their money back, the council said.
As a result of the complaints, Mr Cummings’ case was referred to the licensing panel in September 2017, who resolved to revoke both the private hire operator and driver licences.
Mr Cummings’ initial appeal to Wirral Magistrates’ Court was dismissed before a further appeal was lodged at Liverpool Crown Court this month.
According to the council, that led to a two-day hearing before a judge dismissed the appeal once again, meaning that the original decision by the licensing panel was upheld, and the licences remain revoked.
While the appeals were pending, the law allowed Wirral Airport Hopper to continue to use its licence.
But after the crown court decision, the licences are revoked with immediate effect, meaning that the company and Mr Cummings are no longer licensed and cannot legally carry out any private hire taxi or transfer work.
Source Taken from Liverpool Echo
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