NORTH Devon District Council is warning specialist taxi firms about a change in a licensing loophole. From Monday this week, businesses currently offering services such as airport travel, chauffeur services, and executive hire will need to be licensed. F

NORTH Devon District Council is warning specialist taxi firms about a change in a licensing loophole.From Monday this week, businesses currently offering services such as airport travel, chauffeur services, and executive hire will need to be licensed. Firms that allow people to book their journeys in advance, and offer the service for more than a week, are being advised to contact the council's licensing section as soon as possible.Vehicles used just for weddings and funerals will not be affected by the change in the law.Cllr Roy Lucas, chairman of the licensing committee, said: "The new legislative change will enable the council to carry out safety checks on previously unlicensed vehicles, and suitability checks on operators and drivers. The council's licensing officer, Phil Fitzsimons, added: "Businesses are reminded that the obligation is upon the operator of such services to ensure the appropriate applications for licences are made. "Businesses and drivers working while not properly licensed could face prosecution, with significant fines and costs." For more information visit www.northdevon.gov.uk/licensing or contact a licensing officer on (01271) 388865.