Taxi drivers refused licences for Fife area

The latest round of Fife taxi driver licenses have appraised following a meeting of the local regulation and licensing committee.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 3:19 pm
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 3:20 pm
The latest round of applications has seen some drivers refused.
The latest round of applications has seen some drivers refused.

Seán Dúláin-Osborne, of The Heathers Wynd, Dunfermline, has been refused his bid to operate a new taxi business for a year in the West Fife area.

Dúláin-Osborne, previously a pre-book only private hire driver, had sought to operate an eight-seater to address what he claimed was a gap in the market for large capacity vehicles and to fit his work around his family life.

“I’m looking to go out on a Saturday night, and work the taxi rank at Inverkeithing. Private hire doesn’t give me that flexibility,” he said.

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However, the most recent study of Fife’s taxi provision concluded there was no unmet demand, essentially putting the brakes on any bid for a new operating licence – including Dúláin-Osborne’s.

Committee vice-convener Cllr Ryan Smart, moving refusal, told the driver: “I can fully sympathise with your personal circumstances but I don’t think the evidence is there to give out taxi operator licenses at this point in time.”

Elsewhere, Kirkcaldy taxi driver Robert Byers, of Laurel Crescent, has been denied a renewal of his taxi driver permit after being caught speeding and parking illegally on a pedestrian crossing.

Byers had been given several chances to attend the hearing to explain his October 2019 speeding offence and April 2020 pedestrian crossing contravention, neither of which was flagged up to Fife licensing chiefs.

Travis Davidson of Colton Court, Dunfermline, has been refused a one-year taxi driving licence. Davidson, who has never held a taxi permit before, was turned down after being caught speeding at the same location twice within the space of a week in August 2020.

Darren Graham of Waverly Drive, Glenrothes, has been granted a three-year renewal of his existing taxi driving permit after explaining the circumstances behind a shunt in April 2019 for which he had been at fault.

Graham said he “took his eyes off the road for a second” while en route to pick up a fare – and failed to notice the car in front of him had come to a halt. His licence was renewed with a condition requiring him to attend a training course.

Brian Rodger of Kenmore Terrace, Kirkcaldy, has been granted a one-year renewal of his licence on the condition he also takes a training course after being caught speeding.

Rodger, who has been a taxi driver since 2008, was captured driving at 42mph in a 30mph area of Halbeath in June 2018. He told the committee: “I didn’t realise it was a 30.”

Douglas Watterston, of Willow Crescent, Glenrothes, was granted a one year renewal of his taxi permit with an official warning on his record.

Watterston, who was first licensed to drive cabs in 2017, said he had “no valid reason” for travelling at 54mph in a 40mph zone at the Balfarg Junction.

He added: “There’s nothing I can say which can excuse it. I do regret it, obviously, and I will make sure it doesn’t happen again. The warning is acknowledged.”

Notes to editors: Images attached. Approximate addresses are included to avoid risk of misidentification or defamation of others.