DURING my daily commute into Bolton yesterday, I was appalled to see three instances of bad driving by taxi drivers within minutes of each other.

The first was in Bridgeman Place, heading towards the junction of Manchester Road.

I was in the lane heading towards Wigan when a private-hire driver next to me kept edging over. He moved back and forth a few times, eventually pulling in hard and close behind me after I passed.

I would have happily let him in but he seemed to have an aversion to using his indicators and I really was not sure whether he was trying to change lanes or was merely drifting out of his own.

Moments later, with Manchester Road/Bradshawgate traffic on green lights, a private-hire minibus sped from the wrong lane, across the filter turning, from Bradshawgate into the A579, narrowly avoiding several cars.

Then, to complete the hat-trick, a third private-hire car drove straight through the red lights at the junction with Newport Street, seemingly oblivious to other traffic and pedestrians.

We all make mistakes on the road, but taking risks such as this is completely unacceptable.

I could not tell whether they had passengers in their cars or were going to pick up fares.

But, whatever the case, there could have been three serious collisions in busy town centre locations, which could have led to people being injured.

None of us is perfect behind the wheel and I am not picking on private hire or taxi drivers — just drivers who are inconsiderate and put others at risk.

Having seen these three near-misses in quick succession, the first thing that came to my mind was the recent public spat between private-hire drivers and Bolton Council, over its clampdown on licensing.

But I came away from the experience thinking that anything the council can do to ensure private-hire and taxi drivers operate safely must be a good thing.

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