CLACTON cabbies have been warned about the standard of their vehicles and one was even taken off the road after being found to be unsafe.

A number of taxis were found to be unsafe during a crackdown.

Tendring Council’s licensing officers joined forces with police and Essex County Council for a campaign tackling poor driving, as well as the standards of taxis and scrap metal collectors. During the day-long purge, officers carried out checks at locations across the town.

Paul Honeywood, Tendring Council’s interim leader, said the taxis were checked to ensure they were fit and safe.

A total of 15 taxis were stopped, after which four drivers were given verbal warnings and one vehicle was taken off the road.

Mr Honeywood said: “The standard of most taxis was high and action was taken on the small numbers that were found to be below standard.

“This is important to make sure that those travelling in taxis do so in safe vehicles.”

John Hones, chairman of Tendring District Taxi Association, said cab drivers should not have been singled out. He said: “It is a tough enough time for taxi drivers at the moment – we are fighting to make a living.

“I don’t know why taxi drivers have been targeted as we are checked by the council every six months and have an MoT every year.

“As far as poor standards go, they should also have checked buses and charity buses – many of them charge now.

“It's not easy at the moment – there are too many taxi licences given out by the council.

There are about 310 and about 200 are in Clacton – we think there should be just 200 for the whole district.”

The licensing officers were also on the lookout for unlicensed scrap metal collectors.

One was found and is under investigation.