Driver fined-4

Taxi Driver fined following a successful prosecution by Reading Council

  • South Oxfordshire District Council licensed taxi driver pleaded guilty at Reading Magistrates Court in April
  • He was ordered to pay over £1,400 in financial penalties and had eight penalty points added to his driving licence

A SOUTH Oxfordshire District Council licensed taxi driver has been hit with financial penalties of more than £1,400 and given eight penalty points on his licence after Reading Council Licensing officers caught him illegally plying for hire during Reading Festival in 2023.

Mr Muhammed Shahzad, of Regent Street, Reading, pleaded guilty to illegally plying for hire, and therefore operating without insurance, at Reading Magistrates Court on 19 April 2024.

Mr Shahzad was licensed by South Oxfordshire District Council, but illegally picked up undercover officers in Reading.

On 27 August 2023, during Reading Festival, undercover Licensing Enforcement officers approached Mr Shahzad in Addison Road, Reading, an area known to Council licensing officers for drivers illegally plying for hire during the Festival period. He agreed to take the officers to Henley-on-Thames for £50, without the required prior booking.

At Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday 19 April 2024, Mr Shazad was fined £922 for the offence of plying for hire and operating without insurance. Further prosecution costs £200 and a victim surcharge of £369 was also ordered, to be paid at a rate of £100.

The court also endorsed Mr Shahzad’s driving licence with eight penalty points for the offence of using a motor vehicle without valid insurance.

Cllr John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Climate Strategy and Transport, said:

“Private Hire and Hackney Carriage customers are entitled to trust the person driving is properly vetted, authorised, checked, and licensed. Unlicensed drivers undermining that trust will be robustly dealt with to maintain public confidence and ensure safety in our nighttime economy. 

“The Reading Licensing Team worked tirelessly to bring this complex case to court, and I am pleased the Magistrates recognised the importance of it. Any customer with concerns about taxi or private hire drivers can report them, in confidence, to us at or via the Council Contact Centre on 0118 937 3787.”