COUNCIL chiefs have urged Christmas partygoers to stay safe during the festive period by avoiding rogue taxi drivers.

Revellers are being urged to be on their guard when hailing taxis home over the holiday period.

Middlesbrough Council has issued a list of tips, telling party-goers to beware of taxi touts as unlicensed vehicles and drivers often operate in busy areas.

Bosses also advise people to only ever flag down licensed hackney carriages and ensure the meter is being used.

Private hire vehicles should be booked in advance and the price of the fare confirmed at the time of booking. 

Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s executive member for community protection, said: “At this time of year there is always an increase in the number of people using taxis at the end of an evening out.

“I would urge everyone to be extra vigilant when using taxis in Middlesbrough and to ensure that they only ever use licensed hackney carriages and private hire vehicles.

“Licensed vehicles are regularly tested for safety and all licensed drivers are vetted and approved by the council before a licence is issued.”