A TAXI driver in Bolton has been suspended after allegations of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ and that he was ‘carrying a hammer’.

The unidentified man was the subject of a licence review by a panel from Bolton Council which heard details of alleged misconduct in relation to him being a driver licensed to drive private hire vehicles.

The panel heard that the driver had received a caution for a public order offence, which by law he needed to disclose to the council due to his job as a cabbie.

Minutes of the meeting, which was attended by the driver and not held in public, were published last week.

They included allegations of assault on a woman and the man in question hammering a wall in frustration for up to 20 minutes.

A council report of the meeting stated: “There was a complaint from a member of the public about the inappropriate behaviour of the driver and that he was carrying a hammer.

“The driver admitted losing patience and hammering on the wall but denied this was for 20 minutes and denied hitting the lady.”

It is not thought the driver was at work as a taxi driver when the alleged incident occurred.

After hearing evidence about the matter from the driver and Bolton Council’s director of place, Gerry Brough, who presented details of the alleged misconduct, the panel decided to suspend the driver’s licence.

They said: “The licence to drive a private hire vehicle be suspended for a period of seven weeks on the basis that the committee are not satisfied that the driver is a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

“Following consideration of all the evidence, the committee noted the complaints and the driver admitted losing patience.

“Drivers are in a position of trust and have a duty to conduct themselves in a lawful and professional manner at all times.

“Members of the public, the elderly, infirm and children or vulnerable adults entrust their personal safety and wellbeing to private hire drivers whenever they take a journey.

“Passengers often travel alone and are vulnerable to inappropriate behaviour.

“The committee’s primary duty is of concern for the safety and wellbeing of the public.

“There is therefore reasonable cause to suspend the private hire licence.”