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Renfrewshire Council and Police Scotland have joined forces to give taxi and private hire passengers some important festive safety tips.

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Councillor John Hood, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Regulatory Functions Policy Board, said: “This is a particularly busy time of year as people enjoy nights out in our town centres.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves and be safe in our towns and on the way home.

“That is why the council and police are reminding people of some key issues to keep in mind when they are booking or using taxis and private hire cars.

Chief Inspector Alison Kennedy, Area Commander Paisley for Police Scotland, said: “I would urge people to plan their night out – including how to get home. Stay with friends and avoid leaving parties or nights out with strangers.

“If possible, pre-book your taxi or private hire car with a well known company and use the text service offered by most companies. It is also important to ensure your mobile is charged before you go out.”

One of the key pieces of advice is to make sure that the taxi or private hire car is officially licensed. All taxis in Renfrewshire are white in colour and can collect from ranks at Glasgow Airport and at Gilmour Street in Paisley.

All private hire vehicles should have a Renfrewshire Council plate on the rear and window stickers displaying the licence details on the rear passenger windows. Taxi and private hire drivers’ badges should be displayed within vehicles.

It is also important to check that the car which arrives is the one that has been booked. Most firms use a text service which advises when the vehicle is arriving and what type of vehicle is coming.

Customers are also being asked to make sure they avoid any confrontations at taxi queues.

Taxi marshals will be on hand at ranks late nights at weekends in the run up to the festive period in Gilmour Street and the recently-established pick up point in the town’s Witherspoon Street.

Councillor Hood added: “The vast majority of the taxi and private car hire trade provide a very good service. But like any other service industry, if customers feel unhappy about the conduct of a taxi or private hire driver, they should contact the council’s civic government enforcement officer or the police.

“Customers can ask to see the driver’s badge and note the number or can note the plate number or registration number of the vehicle.

“Overall, we are doing all we can to keep things safe for everyone and we are asking people just to take some time and thought to play their part too so we all enjoy this special time of year.”

For additional advice and guidance, please visit the Police Scotland website.