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Liverpool City Council gives match day cabbie con artists the red card...

"DON'T fall foul of false footie fares..." That's the big message from Liverpool City Council's Licensing Chiefs at the start of the new football season.

The Council is concerned that football fans could end up getting ripped off by rogue cabbies and private hire drivers as they plan a quick getaway from the big game.

Last season the Council received complaints about 'cherry picking' and 'plying for hire' by cabbies and private hire drivers on match day.

Cherry picking is where unscrupulous black cab drivers wait outside the match with their 'for hire' sign not lit. They claim to be unavailable, but when a potential fare comes along they are suddenly ready to go. The snag is, they keep the meter off and end up charging the passenger well over the odds.

In some examples, passengers have been charged ₤20 for a journey that would have cost as little as ₤5 if the meter was on.

Plying for hire is where private hire drivers attempt to pick up passengers who have not booked in advance; meaning the journey is illegal and the driver is uninsured.

To combat this the Council launched a special operation aimed at catching the culprits. Officers went undercover on match days and posed as passengers to see if they could identify those not playing by the rules.

This week some of the drivers snared in the operation faced their day in Court.

Liverpool based Hackney Carriage driver Alan Duringer admitted cherry picking when facing the City's Magistrates.

The Court heard that Duringer was parked on Walton Breck Road, close to Anfield, at the end of Liverpool's clash with West Brom, in January 2018.

The Undercover Officers asked if he could take them to Lime Street. Durringer said he had a ₤20 fare booked, but if they could cover it, he would take them.

Duringer was ordered to pay ₤280 in fines and cost by the Court.

At the same match, Wirral based private hire driver Musleh Uddin was caught plying for hire when he again agreed to take 2 Undercover Officers to Lime Street, for ₤20, despite the journey not being booked in advance.

Uddin admitted plying for hire and driving without insurance as ordered to pay ₤375 and given 6 penalty points.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "This kind of behaviour is completely unacceptable. Football fans in the City have the right to enjoy the match without the fear that they might be getting ripped off or taking an uninsured ride on the way home. We have listened to the fans who complained about this last season and have taken action. The vast majority of cabbies and private hire drivers in our City are honest and decent and will not try and overcharge people. However, for those who are not, we will be carrying out similar operations this season with a view to prosecuting all those who are caught.."

For more information on licensing issues in Liverpool, visit:- Liverpool.Gov.UK and search for:- 'Licensing.'

Run For The 96 2019 Entries Open This Weekend As New Football Season Starts
Photos by Paul Francis Cooper.

THE date for the 5th Annual 'Run For The 96' has been announced and entries will open this weekend to coincide with the start of the new football season.

The date is confirmed as Saturday, 11 May 2019, with the 1 Mile and 5K fun runs taking place in Stanley Park.

The community legacy event was 1st staged in April 2015, as a positive way to celebrate the lives of the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough; while also remembering the families of The 96 and the survivors, who have tirelessly fought for justice with the utmost dignity.

Next year marks 30 years since the Hillsborough disaster, on 15 April 1989.

Entries for the 2019 event opened on Saturday, 11 August 2018, when the Premier League 2018/2019 football season officially kicked off.

Key elements this year will include a beginners' training programme to encourage new participants and a virtual run option for overseas football fans.

Beneficiaries onboard for 2019 are:- Jamie Carragher's 23 Foundation, LFC Foundation, Everton in the Community, and Stanley Park CIC.

Together, they support the vision of creating a positive community legacy event to honour The 96, and are committed to ensure that local communities benefit from the event. The four good causes will receive monies donated and funds raised by participants.

More than 1,300 football fans, young and old, took part in 'Run For The 96' earlier this year. The 5K route included 96 Avenue at Anfield Stadium, where many runners paused at the Eternal Flame to pay their respects at the Hillsborough Memorial. The course also took runners past Goodison Park, to recognise the support given to the Hillsborough families by Everton Football Club.

'Run For The 96'  has the support of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG), and HFSG Chair Margaret Aspinall took part for the 2nd year walking the 5K course.

Special guests who also pulled on their running shoes included:- Liverpool Football Club CEO Peter Moore; Reds' legends Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler; with Alan Kennedy back for his 4th consecutive year. They were joined by:- Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram; former Emmerdale actor Kurtis Stacey; original Big Brother winner Craig Phillips; supported by Voice of Anfield, Liverpool Football Club's match day announcer George Sephton.

Over 3 years, donations and funds raised through 'Run For The 96' have totalled ₤22,000 for Everton in the Community, the LFC Foundation, and Stanley Park CIC.

This year's figure will be revealed shortly but donations can still be made at online.

Participants are encouraged to fundraise for the official charities. A new online giving site for the 2019 event will go live in October 2018.

BTR organise and deliver the event. The entry fee pays to stage and deliver all aspects of the event, including:- a bespoke commemorative medal and T-shirt for all participants in the 5K event.  Full details can be found online.

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