A PRIVATE hire taxi driver has lost his licence after concerns were raised about his contact with schoolgirls.

The driver, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had his licence removed by Bolton Council’s licensing and environmental regulation committee.

He was banned after the councillors heard from police how complaints by passengers had been made and a parent raised concern about the driver’s conduct while he was off duty.

The committee heard how the driver arranged to pick up two 13-year-old girls just before midnight on a Friday evening — despite not being on duty.

He was alleged to have been sending text messages to the girls and offering “free” rides to the youngsters.

He is no longer allowed to work as a private hire taxi driver.

Sgt John Boyce, from Bolton's partnership and licensing team, said: “The motives of this driver were very questionable. The public has a right to expect that private hire drivers are of good character. In this particular case, the actions of the driver fell well short of that standard.”

This case follows that of private hire driver Riazuddin Malji’s unsuccessful challenge to overturn a decision made by Bolton Council to have his licence revoked last year.

Malji was found to not be a fit and proper person to be a private hire driver after he allegedly asked a 13-year-old passenger’s mobile phone number and asked if she liked smoking drugs.

Bolton magistrates upheld the decision of the council at the appeal hearing.