I WRITE further to Ruth Goldstein's letter dated January 2, 2009 to yourself, a copy of which was also forwarded to the Public Carriage Office.
In her letter, Mrs Goldstein comments upon a Harrow Observer report regarding an illegal minicab company. Unfortunately, I have not been able to read the article in question, so the information that follows may already be known to you.
However, just in case it is not, I would like to confirm that if a member of the public is concerned that a private hire operator is not licensed, they may obtain confirmation of currently licensed private hire operators by visiting the Transport for London website at www.tfl.gov.uk and typing 'check a licence' into the search engine.
Alternatively, they may contact the Public Carriage Office on 0800 602 7000 for advice. Bookings should never be made with unlicensed operators, which will be uninsured, unsafe and illegal traders.
There is a variety of means that one may use to ensure a safe and satisfactory journey home.
For example, Cabwise. Cabwise can be used to get the numbers for two local licensed minicab operators, plus one taxi number sent direct to one's mobile phone. This can be done by texting 'home' to 60835. The numbers will then be sent to the texter.
Another option would be Findaride, which is on the TfL website.
Findaride can be used to search for the details of licensed private hire operators by the service they offer (minicab, limousine, chauffeur driven vehicle, etc) and the area they serve.
There is also the Travel Information Call Centre. One may call TfL's 24-hour Travel Information Call Centre on 020 7222 1234 for information on taxi and private hire, including mini-cab, services in any part of London.
Further to the above, www.tfl.gov.uk/traveltools gives more help planning your journey.
I hope that the above information is of use to you.
MR M J MANN
Operating Licensing Section