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Clampdown on illegal Facebook taxis launched

Thursday December 17 2015

Rachel Fisher, Regulatory Services  Field Officer, Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place and Nicola Bailey Berry, Secretary of Barnsley Hackney Carriage Association Rachel Fisher, Regulatory Services Field Officer, Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place and Nicola Bailey Berry, Secretary of Barnsley Hackney Carriage Association

ILLEGAL taxi drivers who 'pick up' clients on Facebook are being targeted as part of a borough-wide clampdown.

Hackney carriage and private hire drivers have to be licensed to operate in Barnsley and they've joined forces with the council to clampdown on pirate taxis who are operating under no regulations.

Coun Roy Miller said: “Some young people don’t realise that advertising taxiing on sites such as Facebook is illegal. People also need to be aware and ensure they check vehicles for signage and badges.”

Enforcement officers are working to gather evidence from popular Barnsley facebook sites searching for people responding to the many "anyone taxiing tonight?" posts.

They say even accepting a lift from an online friend invalidates their insurance if you have in someway paid for that life.

The campaign came about after Barnsley Hackney Carriage Association approached the council with the idea of delivering presentations about illegal taxis to secondary schools and colleges in the borough.

Operation ‘Stay Safe’ was developed and presentations have been given to pupils in years ten and 11 at about half the borough’s schools. It is hoped the rest will receive the presentation after Christmas.

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Reply Posted by Ray on Thursday December 17 2015 at 20:25
That's right lets clamp down on the horrendous problem of people giving their mates lifts for a bit of cash.

After all the rest of the town is perfecly fine, there are no people openly high on drugs in the street. The town centre is a wonderful shopping experience for all. No drunks swearing or spew on the streets. There are also no other problems in the rest of the borough either thanks to our wonderfully efficient council that have eradicated all other problems.

Jesus wept. People wouldn't be putting "anyone taxiing" on Facey if there were enough taxis. Easy way to get around this. Just deny you've taken any cash, the law is an ass on this one and our "enforcement officers" are snivelling little snoopers. I would argue that they are in breach of data protection by clamping down on social media sites.

Shame they still haven't got a handle on the druggies and drunks and are more likely to fine a mum whos baby dropped a sausage roll than the people they were employed to "enforce"

BMBC make me sick with their war on the council tax payer. Get rid of these muppets please.

Reply Posted by Dean on Friday December 18 2015 at 09:31
It is illegal, every point you make is irrelevant, as its illegal.

It also renders the drivers insurance useless, which is a risk to everyone else on the road.

Reply Posted by sl on Friday December 18 2015 at 09:38
When my mates put that on Facebook they're asking if any of the lads are about to pick them up rather than pay the silly prices the cabs pay, it's not directed at strangers. What are they charging for Mad Friday? double? treble? are they still pretending it's a bank holiday.

If my mate's pick me up l'll slip them a bit of petrol money.

Reply Posted by malc on Friday December 18 2015 at 11:33
All you taxi drivers STOP ripping your customers of,

Dean have you ever took your gran shopping and she slipped you some petrol money ?

what is the difference ? I run my mates home if there want to give me petrol money so whats the problem?

greedy taxi drivers and smelly cabs which most are un roadworthy

I know what I would sooner do, come on people of Barnsley get lifts of your friends and screw the taxis

Reply Posted by Ray on Friday December 18 2015 at 12:06
Malc you're right accepting payment for anything is deemed illegal - therefore that's why the law is an ass on this one. The state of Barnsley taxis is this, there aren't enough to meet demand in busy periods. Thanks, but I won't wait for 1.5 hours for a taxi when I can get a friend to pick me up.

Reply Posted by Ray on Friday December 18 2015 at 12:09
Tell me how you prove that payment has been made Dean to void the insurance?

Up until money changes hands - which I would imagine would be at the end of the trip the insurance would fall under "social"

Reply Posted by dean on Friday December 18 2015 at 12:30
When theres an accident, the insurer will check facebook to see if they can identify any reason not to pay up.

Once they see, 'Anyone taxiing' and a reply 'me' then reports of who was in car at time of accident. You try prove you werent taxiing.

Reply Posted by malc on Friday December 18 2015 at 12:51
dean- I am not taxiing, I am giving my friends a lift home

so that there do not have to queue for over an hour and get ripped off by the greedy taxi,s charging treble time

Reply Posted by Ray on Friday December 18 2015 at 12:59
correct malc.

Dean dead easy that.

1. delete post.


Reply Posted by Sarah on Friday December 18 2015 at 18:16
I would much prefer my kids to get a lift home from someone they know and pay them for their time and petrol. And the thought of them getting home safe. Rather than waiting for taxis. It's nice if people to offer lifts if there not going out. If it gets them a little cash. Well done to them.

Reply Posted by Natalie on Friday December 18 2015 at 18:16
So if my mum picks me up after a night out and I give her some money for petrol, then what ??? What an absolute farse.

I for one am not a fan of taxis because you book one and it doesn't turn up on time...Therefore you are stood out in the cold waiting. You ring and it's always on it's way!
Yet a relative or friend comes and they're on the time I've asked and I'm sorted !

I do not agree with people picking random folk up...but relatives and friends I cannot understand the issue .

As Ray said...sort out the idiots, especially those who abuse our NHS system, tonight especially, by getting absolutely paralytic!!

Reply Posted by Michelle on Friday December 18 2015 at 18:25
Maybe if taxi firms actually allowed their drivers to work instead of saying there's no taxis available people would use them more? I once phoned Blueline (yes I'll name and shame) and asked for a taxi for 11:15pm, I was told 10:15 or 2am was available, I took the 10:15 one reluctantly, was talking to the driver on the way home who informed me he didn't have another booking till 12:30am and he also said he knew of several other drivers who were just sat about twiddling their thumbs too! Why have taxis n drivers available if you're not going to actually take bookings for them?

Reply Posted by Martin on Friday December 18 2015 at 22:42
I had this problem Michelle, they won't take bookings over busy times when they can just fill the cab anyway.

Reply Posted by Frank on Friday December 18 2015 at 18:29
"is anyone taxiing" is my friends' way of asking for a lift. I'd do the same. And then when a friend responds to the post, I'd inbox. If I did it for someone, I wouldn't expect money for it. That would be like my mum putting 'anybody taxiing' and me taking up that offer and getting in bother for transporting my own mum. Really silly if you ask me

Reply Posted by Tom on Friday December 18 2015 at 18:57
What part of giving your friends a lift for cash is illegal????? Can understand if they was pulling up in taxi rank getting people. Need to get grip! Can understand its taking work from then.

Reply Posted by Da on Friday December 18 2015 at 19:06
I think people dont understand the difference between some one giving a lift getting petrol money and some one advertising it on face book to make money. Its not fair to the people who do it right and pay for there badge and public liabillity

Reply Posted by kim on Friday December 18 2015 at 19:19
Get a grip Barnsley council and taxi firms. my mum picks me and my friends up from town early hrs of the morning, we all get home safe and we always treat my mum for the lift, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE IDIOTS SAYING INSURANCE NOT VALID AND ILLEGAL

sort out the taxi,s , ripping punters off. never arrive on time, waiting 2 hrs some times after night out in town, smelly grumpy drivers,

good luck to all the Barnsley folk who get home safe by NOT relying on a taxi.

Reply Posted by Georgia on Friday December 18 2015 at 19:33
This is disgusting, if people want to do their friends a favour on nights out for a fiver instead of £15 they should be able to! taxis are just rip offs! it cost me and my friend around £20 to get from town to shafton/start of brierley. plus there isn't enough taxis to taxi everyone home either, they are usually all booked up until a ridiculous time the next morning.

Reply Posted by Jo on Friday December 18 2015 at 19:41
so what about all the TV advertisements that say don't drink and drive, nominate a friend to stay sober and to get you all home safe, is that not acceptable, or what about the friend who you go out for the night with that's tee total for what ever reason and they take the car ?

Reply Posted by Alex on Friday December 18 2015 at 19:42
I view this from a alternate view point.
The reason the council and the taxi drivers have a problem is due to them missing out on the money.
In my opinion fares are too high and they want to stop people saving a few quid.
Whats wrong with friends giving friends a lift home, anyway whats wrong with a someone giving anyone a lift if it saves them money. I mean come on there are more important things the council should be doing than causing yet more issues.
If this is the way the council want to be making basically threats to car owners then your going to have more people walking home at daft oclock in the morning and the next thing that will happen will ne the police consulting with the council to ban people walking home after a night out.
Come on get real

Reply Posted by Poz on Friday December 18 2015 at 20:09
We booked our taxi last new yrs eve to come home n it didn't turn up, tried to phone the taxi firm, it was a constant engaged signal, ova 2 hrs stood in a que to get home, I'm definitely not bothering with them this yr, I'll be askin if anyone is "taxiing" I'll take my chances, my decision...

Reply Posted by Dd on Friday December 18 2015 at 20:11
Taxi drivers pay loads to the council for the licence,loads on insurance n loads to maintain and service the vehicles so have to charge the rates they do to recoup some of that before they get a wage.as for double time on certain days them days i wouldnt go into work for single time either

Reply Posted by cs on Saturday December 19 2015 at 04:42
'Illegal' taxi drivers also have to pay loads on insurance and loads to maintain and service the vehicles so that argument doesnt make sense.....only difference is the council not getting owt art of it.....and the license isnt loads either....not even a tenner a week last time i checked!

Reply Posted by Katie on Friday December 18 2015 at 20:30
I'd much prefer my friends or family who I trust to take me places or home after a night out. There are some really rude taxi drivers who overcharge and 9 times out a 10 taxis are late or you can't get one.

Reply Posted by Rich on Friday December 18 2015 at 21:25
I dont know why the council bother trying to help morons! Look at the cold hard facts; people are assaulted, raped and ripped of all over the country by bogus taxis! The general populations response in Barnsley; 'there's not enough taxis', 'it takes too long to queue', 'they cost too much'. Well, there's too many taxis as they sit about the rest of the week as there's no work; pre-book a taxi as opposed to wanting a 'drop everything and pick a ME up NOW mentality', and finally youre out getting ****** but expect a free ride! So, get in an unlicensed cab, face the consequences and save the council some money!

Reply Posted by Rich on Friday December 18 2015 at 22:09
No June its not about people giving family a lift! Its the complete opposite. Giving family a lift etc is fine. Its the dozens of private cars circling the town at weekends plying for hire. Either read the articles or dont comment on what you dont understand. Its perfectly clear!

Reply Posted by Martin on Friday December 18 2015 at 22:47
facebook cabbie - have a 'like' my good man!

Reply Posted by em on Friday December 18 2015 at 23:31
these taxi drivers are only wanting to "clamp down" on Facebook taxis because their missing out on money, it's got nothing to do with the stay safe campaign or it being illegal or not. it's plain selfishness, no one is getting hurt by getting their mates to taxi them into town or wherever in enchange for petrol money.

Reply Posted by Jud on Friday December 18 2015 at 23:39
Im a cabbie and trust me if people knew the costs of running a cab legally you'd understand why fares are what they are. Fuel, business insurance, council fees, repairs, crb checks the list goes on. I agree with people letting their mates give them a lift i'd do same let em get on with it. I disagree with some comments off folk saying taxis are unsafe though, they are probably the safest cars on the road as they have an MOT upto 3 times a year and also regular stop checks by the Council. Also not all taxi drivers stink of BO either, me included in fact not all customers stink of **** either but 95% do the other 5% stink of damp dogs. For those who want to jump into somebodies car whos advertised on facebook for a knocked down price then crack on, just chances are the drivers probably been taking legal highs and just wants a bit extra cash to top his fix up for end of his night or maybe he's ran out of booze and wants that few quid to top up on booze, is that few quid saving worth risking having a crash and not been insured, you decide

Reply Posted by Anna on Saturday December 19 2015 at 00:09
I think barnsley council started to concentrate on wrong points.
They focused on people taking their friend home or town for a bit of cash so that they don't have to wait 2 hours for a taxi that will charge them twice as much and probably be late...
Never mind about druggies hanging about near ten centre dealing and TAKING drugs in front of children... No that is obviously not a big problem.
Or maybe people robbing members of public of their personal belongings... no that's not a problem.
Or how about 13 years old smoking cigarettes on streets acting cool. Or even better weed.
Oh yes giving lifts to friends is illegal but smoking weed in public is not...
Please don't make me laugh...

Reply Posted by Danny on Saturday December 19 2015 at 01:59

1. You taxis act like your not getting enough custom, when in actual fact. YOUR OVER RUN! There are simply not enough taxis to people! There have been times ive been out, been ready for home after a few too many and not been able to get a taxi home because there hasnt been any available for a good few hours. Ive known myself wait in ques in town centres surrounded by some nice people and some very uncomforting people, just waiting in the snow, rain, and so on for hours just waiting on a taxi turning up and been nearly resulted to tears just wanting a ride home! You are simply not available enough!

2. As if you dont cost as it is! over peak seasons you charge double and triple fares to get some well and some vulnerable people back home safe! Ive known taxis cost me a full nights drink just for 10 minutes down the road to make sure Im home sound!! Its ridiculous! and what about these who have lost their money or bags/wallets/purses in the night? how do they pay to get home safe?

3. Ive booked taxis that have told me to wait at least a couple of hours and theyve not turned up!! When ive rang the company back theyve given me the excuse that ''You havent booked one with us'' or basically just said ''Your taxi should be there, if not my next available is (hours away)''.

These people ''Taxiing'' doing ''illegal taxis'' are in alot of cases life savers!!
-They are the ones who take their time out at unreasonable hours to collect you immediatley when needed.
-They are the ones who dont take unreasonable amounts of money, sometimes no money and in other cases say ''pay me another day if you havent got it on you tonight''.
-They are the ones who actually turn up because you are reliant on them, and they know this.
-They are the ones who dont fine you if you do by chance end up being sick in their car after a too giddy night.
-They in most cases are usualy friends, family or associates who will make sure you are home safe and sound (not starngers).
-They are the ones who can come get you from the back of a long hostile taxi que when they know your going to be there hours.

If you Taxis cant be available when needed and be reliable and reasonably priced, then dont come bitching over people doing a favour and maybe making a bit of pocket money while theyre at it because in all fareness they deserve their profit.

Believe me, I know if I ever go out again and Im in a skimpy dress and killer heels and Im at the back of a taxi que waiting at least an hour and half before one turns up, only a fiver left in my purse for whatever reason and its freezing and Im crippled from a night of dancing and drinking then yes! I will instantly ask around ''whos taxiing?'' get who I need weather its my dad, partner, best friend, old college/work mate or friends cousin to come and get me within 10/15 mins and crawl into my bed at home safe and sound a fiver down where I belong and be happy that Im not still lingering round frustrated..

Could go on forever about this...

Reply Posted by Danny on Saturday December 19 2015 at 02:18
..Just to add! no wonder people risk drink driving!!! (As wrong as it is)

Reply Posted by Lauren barker on Saturday December 19 2015 at 02:12
Ridicolous, considering the handful of times I have gotten a ' real ' cab home it has cost me £25+ half an hour stood in the freezing cold, to then get in a car with a taxi driver who speeds, whereas the times where I've gotten a lift named as ' taxing' from a friend I've given them £10 for petrol and they've gotten there when needed, so insurance is void if you've got your friends in your car? Get a grip

Reply Posted by Anonymous on Saturday December 19 2015 at 02:55

Reply Posted by Shurley on Saturday December 19 2015 at 06:30
According to a reliable source, last Saturday only approx 60 drivers that are associated to barnsleys biggest taxi company were out working. So that's nearly 200 drivers that they didn't have out. This is why people can't get taxis and have to ask their friends and family.

Reply Posted by Jon burton on Saturday December 19 2015 at 08:15
It is the same with minibuses Unlicensed minibuses doing nights out and airport runs. No PSV insurance or safety checks.

Reply Posted by taxi on Saturday December 19 2015 at 09:26
Wow...Barnsley Council you never fail to dissapoint..Priorities???

Reply Posted by !!!!! on Saturday December 19 2015 at 09:43
Cant think of nothing better to di than moan about people trying to earn a bit of money by dropping a few mates of on a weekend you are the moron who wasteing tax payers money what about immigrant problem we have or the lack of jobs make me laugh

Reply Posted by Josh on Saturday December 19 2015 at 10:45
Illegal or not, if there were more taxis and the black and white fares weren't almost DOUBLE that of Blueline/a1, it would be a different story. The queue takes about 2 hours, the company's are always booked up. If it's between waiting in the cold for hours or asking for a lift home, clearly it's worth it.

You can't provide a **** poor service and expect it not to get rinsed by town folk. We're a town, not a city.

Reply Posted by Ry on Saturday December 19 2015 at 13:17
This is simple I rang blueline and 2other taxi firms at 3 this morning because I was stranded ... No taxis available , no joy! ....simply wrote any1 taxiing on Facebook , within seconds 3 people popped up , job done! Home safe !

Reply Posted by Damo on Saturday December 19 2015 at 14:03
Every time I go out you ring every taxi company and they have to taxis while 6 and the que is a 2 hour wait if there was any taxis to actually catch I would

Reply Posted by A. mother on Saturday December 19 2015 at 15:23
The idea behind it is that you give your mates a lift one week and in return they give you a lift at some other point if they're not going out - no cash changes hands. That's not illegal ! Would much rather have my child given a lift home by somebody they know than wait around for a taxi that may or may not turn up!

Reply Posted by Arnie on Monday December 21 2015 at 00:47
Don't know whenBarnsley folk are at their most resourceful. It's either when they need to get home boozed up and skint or when they are finding new excuses not to send their kids to school.

Reply Posted by Sarah on Monday December 21 2015 at 16:10
With the amount of Rotherham taxis ive seen around here the last few weeks if any of my kids or their friends say can anyone give us a lift im saying yes!

Reply Posted by The d on Thursday December 31 2015 at 15:20
******* pathetic if you ask me. Why wait hours when one of boys can pick me up in 5? Cant help it if taxi service in barnsley is ****. Wakefields a city centre and yet i can get a taxi straight away.

Reply Posted by Chelsea m on Thursday December 31 2015 at 20:53
So all you caring mothers and fathers on here, how would you feel if it had been 2 of your children who were in the back of that mangled and upside down ( anyone tax ing) silver car on boxing day? The people didn't even know the driver, I rest my case

Reply Posted by Mike on Sunday January 3 2016 at 10:30
Let's get this straight...
You can give your mate a lift (totally legal)
You give the same mate a lift and he gives you a few quid for petrol (illegal)
The only difference is the cash changing hands which the Government can't get their greedy little mitts on by TAXING you!