DANGEROUS taxis were taken off the roads in joint operation in the Harrogate area.

Officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Road Policing Group joined officials from Harrogate Borough Council and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to check private hire vehicles and Hackney Carriages on Friday night.

Checks were made to ensure that the drivers were properly licensed and that the vehicles they were driving were safe to carry customers on the roads.

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All 16 vehicles inspected underwent full mechanical examinations for defects by the DVSA.

As a result, two taxis were given immediate prohibition notices by the DVSA, meaning the vehicles were ordered off the road due to faults.

Another vehicle was given a delayed prohibition notice for a brake defect.

This allowed the driver seven days to rectify the fault.

Nine drivers were advised in relation to minor vehicle defects and several others were also warned by taxi inspectors about breaches of taxi licensing rules.

A total of four taxis were suspended from working by Harrogate Borough Council due to mechanical defects and other breaches of licensing rules.

Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton said: “Previous operations have found that a significant number of vehicles were below the necessary safety standards resulting in them being taken off the road.

"Whilst I am disappointed by the fact that this year’s operation found four vehicles that had to be taken off the road due to defects, the overall condition of the taxis seems to be starting to improve.

Councillor Stuart Martin, chair of Harrogate Borough Council’s Licensing Committee, said there was "no excuse"for poor maintenance and inadequate daily checks by taxi drivers.