ANOTHER former taxi trade representative has waded into the row over rogue drivers and has claimed: "The situation is no better in Poole."

Mike Gale, an independent driver for 37 years, said his decision to leave the business had been due to a "complete lack of enforcement" by the Borough of Poole and persistent problems with a handful of drivers flouting the rules.

He spoke out after John Tye stood down as the taxi trade representative in Bournemouth, claiming he could no longer represent a trade "of which he was ashamed."

He said a minority of rogue drivers were ripping-off customers, being aggressive to passengers and flouting rules but facing no enforcement action from Bournemouth council.

Mr Gale, who for several years represented independent drivers in Poole, said the situation was no different there.

"Over the last 18 months I've taken photographs of Bournemouth taxis parked on Poole ranks and nothing has been done," he said.

"I quit because I had just about had enough of people getting away with it."

He called for Poole council to introduce "mystery shoppers" to catch rogue drivers and said: "If they had done this during the Sandbanks polo weekend they would have caught numerous offenders.

"All people want to do is go home so you get loads of private hire vehicles stopping to pick up passengers from the street, which they are not allowed to do and not insured to do.

"Unfortunately it feels like nothing will be done until something goes badly wrong."

Nick Phillips, accessibility team leader at the Borough of Poole, said: "There is no evidence to suggest that unlicensed taxi and private hire drivers are being used in Poole and so at present we will not be making use of ‘mystery travellers’.

"We do however co-ordinate enforcement activities with both the Police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to randomly stop and check taxis in the town.

"These enforcement operations enable both vehicle roadworthiness and driver details to be checked and continue to show that we have an excellent standard of compliance in our town.

"We will investigate any customer complaints about taxi and private hire services and have a progressive enforcement policy if problems do occur. All drivers undergo an additional DVSA driving assessment before licensing and an hour long knowledge test of the roads of the borough, this is on top of a DBS check and medical. This ensures that drivers are of a suitable standard at first licensing and so complaints are therefore rare."