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Waveney warns against unlicensed limos

PUBLISHED: 17:47 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 07:20 01 August 2010

THE SCHOOL prom season is fast approaching - but youngsters have been warned they could be arriving in style in unlicensed stretch limosines.

Waveney District Council this week urged local people to avoid using the many unlicensed limousines operating in the area.

THE SCHOOL prom season is fast approaching - but youngsters have been warned they could be arriving in style in unlicensed stretch limosines.

Waveney District Council this week urged local people to avoid using the many unlicensed limousines operating in the area.

Shadingfield-based Chevron Limousine and Executive Car Hire is one of only two companies in Waveney to hold a licence so far. The other is Gisleham-based Kayleigh Limousines.

This leaves many other companies operating illegally in Waveney, and with limousines a popular way to travel to school proms, the council has sent out a letter to all the middle schools and high schools in the area warning of the dangers.

In the letter, Mike Chase, enforcement officer for Waveney, warns that not all unlicensed stretch limousines are properly converted, which can cause safety problems.

He said: “Stretch limousines for up to eight customers must be licensed by the local authority, as must the owners and the drivers. Stringent vehicle and driver inspections ensure that safety issues and adequate insurance is in place.

“Some unlicensed vehicles are in a dangerous condition because of inadequate tyres, brakes steering systems and weight limits.

“Waveney has a duty of care to the public and these unlicensed vehicles, which stick out like a sore thumb,

will be stopped.”

Joe London, who runs Chevron Limousines, said his business had been severely hit by limousine companies able to undercut his prices because they do not pay insurance. Only a month ago, he had seriously considered closing the business.

He said: “Every call I was getting, it was, 'well, so and so can do it for cheaper'. I was already selling myself quite cheap and still getting undercut.

“People are quite happy to get a cheap deal, but in the event of an accident they wouldn't have a leg to stand on. It's about the kids' safety. If they get stopped by the police they terminate the journey so they'd be walking home. If the driver doesn't have a license you don't know who you're getting into a vehicle with, and you don't know where it has been converted.”

Licensed limousines have a plate mounted on the back of the vehicle or in the boot, and drivers have a special badge.

Limousine companies can apply for the licence by calling Mike Chase at the WDC Food Safety and Licensing Team on 01502 523620.

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