Shamed cabbie is stripped of licence

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A CAB driver has been stripped of his livelihood after he made inappropriate comments to his passengers.

It is believed that what was said by Steven Bowes, who has worked as a private hire driver in Scarborough, was of a sexual nature.

A Scarborough Council licensing sub-committee, which heard evidence from witnesses, said the nature of the allegations “raised a serious cause for concern”.

They ruled that Mr Bowes, whose licence had been suspended following the allegations, was not “a fit and proper person to hold a dual driver’s licence”.

The committee, which held its hearing behind closed doors, said it had been left with no choice but to revoke the licence, which is needed to drive a private hire vehicle or apply for a Hackney carriage drivers’ licence in Scarborough.

Andy Skelton, the council’s head of environmental services, said: “The suspension and eventual revocation arose from an unusual set of circumstances in which the driver made rash and wholly inappropriate comments to his passengers.

“We expect the highest standards from our drivers and this extends to the way they talk to their passengers.”

Scarborough Council have refused to state how many people made complaints against Mr Bowes, when the complaints were made or give any examples of what the cab driver said to the passengers, who were aged over 16.

In coming to its decision, the sub-committee, which was chaired by Cllr James Preston, considered a report from licensing officer Barry Lonsdale, written evidence from Mr Bowes himself and an excerpt from a fare log.

The committee accepted the evidence it heard from witnesses who attended the hearing. Mr Bowes was not in attendance.

Cllr Preston said yesterday: “It’s always concerning whenever we have to adjudicate a review of a complaint against a taxi driver. We don’t take these decisions lightly.”

In the minutes of the hearing, it was stated: “The sub-committee have considered the options open to them and feel that it is necessary to take action due to the serious nature of the offence detailed in the evidence.

“The sub-committee have considered a written warning however they do not feel that this would adequately protect the public or that it reflects the serious nature of Mr Bowes actions. It would not be acceptable to allow Mr Bowes to continue to hold a licence as the sub-committee do not feel that he is a fit and proper person.”