Taxi drivers in Gwynedd have been warned to stop ‘cherry-picking’ the best fares by turning down short journeys in the hope that the next customer will require a longer, more profitable, journey.

Gwynedd Council is now clamping down on what they describe as “the minority” of taxi drivers who are refusing to take short journeys and potentially putting customers in danger, by refusing them a taxi.

The council have described the practice as unacceptable and believe it usually happens late at night and into the early morning. If the taxi light is on, a driver is not allowed, by law, to refuse service, even if the customer is only taking a very short journey.

With many people out and about during the festive season, councillors are reiterating the importance that everyone has access to a reliable taxi service to get them home safely.

Councillor Dafydd Meurig, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “It’s important to emphasise that the vast majority of taxi drivers in Gwynedd act in an honourable way and follow the rules, but there are a small number who ignore the rules in the hope of landing a bigger fare.

“Taxi drivers who ‘cherry-pick’ passengers in an attempt to land bigger fares face having their licences revoked. That’s the message we as a Council are sending out having received numerous complaints from members of the public who are being refused short journeys in some areas of the county.

“Only a minority of taxi drivers in Gwynedd ‘cherry pick’ customers, giving the taxi industry a bad name. This illegal practice not only endangers the safety of customers but also undermines the efforts of private hire and taxi drivers who work hard and operate within the law to deliver a high-quality service in Gwynedd.”

Gwynedd Council are now encouraging anyone who is refused a short Taxi journey take a photo of the registration plate or the licence plate, the location and time and send it to licensing@gwynedd.cymru.llyw or call 01766 771 000.