A PRIVATE hire driver has been left furious after he was ordered to pay more than £3,000 having refused to show his credentials at Manchester Airport.

Bill Williams, of Cemetery Road, Kearsley, refused to show his private hire badge to Manchester City Council officers at the airport on June 16, 2016.

Council enforcement officers were undertaking routine checks, alongside police officers, to ensure no unlicensed activity was taking place at the airport.

Williams was asked to produce his private hire badge to confirm he was both licensed and insured to drive his vehicle, but he refused to show his credentials to council officers.

The 60-year-old says he has been told repeatedly by Bolton Council that other authorities do not have powers over him, unless he was committing an offence, and claims he has been ‘sacrificed on the altar’.

He said: “My decision at Manchester Airport was based on advice I had received from Bolton Council in the past, and which I have had confirmed in the past three weeks, that officers from other councils do not have powers over me.

“They have no powers over me unless I am committing an offence, which I was not. I was just at the airport and they were carrying out routine spot checks. I have been sacrificed on the altar.

“I have been unfairly prosecuted, it is corporate bullying.”

Williams, who did eventually show his documentation to a police officer, appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court on Tuesday, February 6.

After being found guilty of obstructing an authorised officer, he was fined £400, alongside costs of £3,000 and a surcharge of £40.

Council bosses said the prosecution should ‘should send a warning to all rogue drivers’.

Williams said: “To talk about ‘rogue drivers’ in relation to this is a disgusting comment from someone who does not know what he is talking about. They are just banging the drum for political reasons.

“I will almost certainly appeal.”

The case is part of an ongoing crackdown on the violation of both private hire and hackney carriage regulations.

Between September 1, 2016 and December 21, 2017, 52 people have been prosecuted for private hire or hackney carriage offences — with fines and awarded costs totalling £39,428 and 198 penalty points handed out to drivers.

Of the 52 drivers prosecuted, 17 were licensed by authorities other than Manchester but had committed offences within the city.

Manchester Council’s Cllr Nigel Murphy said: “This should send a warning to all rogue drivers, the rules surrounding taxi and private hire drivers apply to everyone, no matter where they are based.”

“We will pursue all contraventions that take place within our city either directly or through their licensing authority — the consequences can be both serious and costly.

“Manchester has seen a huge increase in drivers and vehicles from other areas working in the city over the past 12 months.”

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “It is vital that private hire or hackney drivers co-operate with requests from licensing officers from other authorities and the police. We would expect drivers from outside Bolton to co-operate with similar requests from our own licensing staff.

“This will ensure drivers do not end up facing court action and a hefty financial penalty.”