Partygoers urged to stay safe by using licensed cabs

Basingstoke Gazette: Councillor Hayley Eachas. Councillor Hayley Eachas.

PARTYGOERS are being urged to stay safe during the festive period by using licensed taxis and private hire vehicles in the borough.

Basingstoke town centre is more popular than ever, with the area now accredited as a Purple Flag Zone – an award given to Britain’s top nightlife destinations. Purple Flag Zones are classed as diverse, fun and safe destinations for evening leisure activities.

Councillor Hayley Eachus, pictured, cabinet member responsible for licensing, said: “Basingstoke has a lot to offer for a great night out, especially at this time of year, and a well-deserved reputation for accessibility and safety.

“Nonetheless, people should be aware that unlicensed operators without proper insurance or security checks will sometimes present themselves as a legitimate taxi service. It’s not worth the risk – stay safe and always use a taxi rank or pre-book a licensed vehicle and driver.”

In September, the council asked people about their evening leisure experiences in the town centre with the results showing most people find the town centre safe, accessible and has a good choice of dining, retail and arts venues.

Eighty-six per cent of respondents said they felt either ‘very safe’ or ‘fairly safe’ in Basingstoke town centre at night-time with 52 per cent saying their night-time experience had improved in the past five years.

More than a third of respondents said they travelled home from nights out by taxi or pre-booked private hire vehicles.

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