Nearly half of taxis stopped in Blackburn and Darwen fail safety checks

ALMOST half the Blackburn with Darwen licenced taxis and private hire vehicles stopped for safety checks last year were taken off the road as dangerous.

Four out of ten inspected by police, vehicle road-worthiness experts and council officials were considered not fit to remain on the road carrying passengers, Blackburn with Darwen Environment chief Faryad Hussain reported to the borough’s council forum that four operations to inspect licensed taxi cabs and private hire vehicles were undertaken in 2012.

He said: “In total 92 vehicles were inspected.

“Thirty-eight vehicles (41 per cent) were taken off the road immediately because the defects found were dangerous. The most common faults found being problems with tyres, suspension and headlights.

“The faults found on tyres and headlights are part-icularly disappointing as these can be identified by the driver with the simplest of checks. Twenty-seven received notices requiring them to rectify problems within seven days. These faults were generally due to inadequate signage, displaying of plates and defective lights.

“The remainder of the vehicles, 27, were deemed safe and were compliant with their licence.”

Blackburn with Darwen council licenses 70 black cab taxis, able to pick up on the street, and 650 private hire vehicles, for pre-booking only, to operate in the borough.

Mohammed Younis, chairman of Blackburn Taxi Drivers Association, said: “The majority of those taken off the road were private hire vehicles. Just a couple of black cabs were affected. Our members face rigorous safety checks and check their own vehicles regularly. We welcome safety inspections.”

Comments (22)

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12:16pm Wed 6 Feb 13

norah bhatty says...

It doesn't matter if the cabs which were found to be unroadworthy were black cabs or private hire, the same rules apply. Who is exactly would be responsible if a passenger was injured whilst in one of these cabs? There may be many vehicles on the road which need new tyres etc, but when a person is paying for a taxi service, these vehicles should be 100% roadworthy at all times, with no excuses whatsoever if spot checks find serious faults.
It doesn't matter if the cabs which were found to be unroadworthy were black cabs or private hire, the same rules apply. Who is exactly would be responsible if a passenger was injured whilst in one of these cabs? There may be many vehicles on the road which need new tyres etc, but when a person is paying for a taxi service, these vehicles should be 100% roadworthy at all times, with no excuses whatsoever if spot checks find serious faults. norah bhatty

12:46pm Wed 6 Feb 13

darwen_celeb says...

Were these taxis damaged in the 'Pothole Epidemic' caused by inadequately maintained roads?


http://www.lancashir
etelegraph.co.uk/new
s/10204294._Pothole_
epidemic__causes_mis
ery_for_East_Lancash
ire_motorists/
Were these taxis damaged in the 'Pothole Epidemic' caused by inadequately maintained roads? http://www.lancashir etelegraph.co.uk/new s/10204294._Pothole_ epidemic__causes_mis ery_for_East_Lancash ire_motorists/ darwen_celeb

1:32pm Wed 6 Feb 13

norah bhatty says...

darwen_celeb -
as good an excuse as any I suppose, but don't you think that claims would have been presented if this potholes were found to be the cause of defects?

Nowadays, more and more spot checks are taking place, and any driver is liable if faults are found.

It might be false accounting to leave tyres etc till the last minute, because I would assume once a fault is identified, with penalty points (if applicable) and fines (if applicable) it will cost drivers far more than the cost of tyre replacement.
darwen_celeb - as good an excuse as any I suppose, but don't you think that claims would have been presented if this potholes were found to be the cause of defects? Nowadays, more and more spot checks are taking place, and any driver is liable if faults are found. It might be false accounting to leave tyres etc till the last minute, because I would assume once a fault is identified, with penalty points (if applicable) and fines (if applicable) it will cost drivers far more than the cost of tyre replacement. norah bhatty

2:29pm Wed 6 Feb 13

woolywords says...

It beggars belief that these vehicles, given an MoT style test, 3 times per year, with fees being paid to the Council, have managed to pass that inspection.
That said, our towns roads are in a terrible condition for the money that is spent on them. I have yet to see any reinstatement after road works that has a properly sealed joint between the old and new. Don't we pay for someone to make an inspection after any works are completed? If so, someone needs the boot and no sympathy for the loss of job.
It beggars belief that these vehicles, given an MoT style test, 3 times per year, with fees being paid to the Council, have managed to pass that inspection. That said, our towns roads are in a terrible condition for the money that is spent on them. I have yet to see any reinstatement after road works that has a properly sealed joint between the old and new. Don't we pay for someone to make an inspection after any works are completed? If so, someone needs the boot and no sympathy for the loss of job. woolywords

3:32pm Wed 6 Feb 13

happycyclist says...

Once again I have to ask why only taxis are targeted? I understand the bit about them carrying paying passengers and their responsibility to those passengers, but what about responsibility to other road users, which is a responsibility ALL motorists have. It makes no difference to me whether the bit that dropped off a car and brought me off my bike was a taxi or not.
Once again I have to ask why only taxis are targeted? I understand the bit about them carrying paying passengers and their responsibility to those passengers, but what about responsibility to other road users, which is a responsibility ALL motorists have. It makes no difference to me whether the bit that dropped off a car and brought me off my bike was a taxi or not. happycyclist

3:38pm Wed 6 Feb 13

TONY WALES says...

woolywords wrote:
It beggars belief that these vehicles, given an MoT style test, 3 times per year, with fees being paid to the Council, have managed to pass that inspection.
That said, our towns roads are in a terrible condition for the money that is spent on them. I have yet to see any reinstatement after road works that has a properly sealed joint between the old and new. Don't we pay for someone to make an inspection after any works are completed? If so, someone needs the boot and no sympathy for the loss of job.
A big brown envelope given to the person, who conducts the test helps taxi's to pass.
Works every time.
Judging by the number of taxi's which fail in Lancashire, it's a wonder that WH Smith's has any left.
[quote][p][bold]woolywords[/bold] wrote: It beggars belief that these vehicles, given an MoT style test, 3 times per year, with fees being paid to the Council, have managed to pass that inspection. That said, our towns roads are in a terrible condition for the money that is spent on them. I have yet to see any reinstatement after road works that has a properly sealed joint between the old and new. Don't we pay for someone to make an inspection after any works are completed? If so, someone needs the boot and no sympathy for the loss of job.[/p][/quote]A big brown envelope given to the person, who conducts the test helps taxi's to pass. Works every time. Judging by the number of taxi's which fail in Lancashire, it's a wonder that WH Smith's has any left. TONY WALES

3:55pm Wed 6 Feb 13

norah bhatty says...

happy_cyclist -

You are 100% correct. All vehicles etc on the road should be totally road worthy, but the reality is there will be some who choose to ignore the laws of the land.

Public vehicles though I would have thought have a bigger incentive to ensure their vehicles meet all the regulations, but again there will always be some who know better.

The truth will prevail no doubt, when one of the taxi's is involved in an accident, and further inspection proves that they were not road worthy.

Where will the blame lie I wonder?
happy_cyclist - You are 100% correct. All vehicles etc on the road should be totally road worthy, but the reality is there will be some who choose to ignore the laws of the land. Public vehicles though I would have thought have a bigger incentive to ensure their vehicles meet all the regulations, but again there will always be some who know better. The truth will prevail no doubt, when one of the taxi's is involved in an accident, and further inspection proves that they were not road worthy. Where will the blame lie I wonder? norah bhatty

4:36pm Wed 6 Feb 13

Davelyn says...

Does this really surprise anyone with the condition many of them are in.
I wonder how many of these taxis have a legal MOT. Because if the MOT is not legal then the Insurance is void as well. I don't and won't use taxis at all.
Does this really surprise anyone with the condition many of them are in. I wonder how many of these taxis have a legal MOT. Because if the MOT is not legal then the Insurance is void as well. I don't and won't use taxis at all. Davelyn

4:39pm Wed 6 Feb 13

Izanears says...

If it aint Pendle, it's Rossendale. If it aint Hyndburn, it's Blackburn!
Almost every week this paper carries a report of taxis being taken off the road because they are not fit for purpose.
When is it going to end? Why do the councils keep letting the taxi operators get away with it year after year?
If it aint Pendle, it's Rossendale. If it aint Hyndburn, it's Blackburn! Almost every week this paper carries a report of taxis being taken off the road because they are not fit for purpose. When is it going to end? Why do the councils keep letting the taxi operators get away with it year after year? Izanears

4:46pm Wed 6 Feb 13

GrindletonBob says...

A well known local private hire taxi collected me from my home a couple of years back and had very visible collision damage on the passenger side doors. I had a train to catch so got in the car to then discover the passenger side airbag had been activated and pushed back into the dashboard like a jack in the box! The driver spoke loudly in a foreign language on his hand held mobile for most of the journey then tried to charge me the night rate (it was lunchtime!). Apparently my address was outside of his firm's area - despite the fact they had stuck a card through my letterbox only the day before.
When I challenged him and also offered my opinion on his vehicle he became very irate and said that I could pay now or pay later! Of course they have you bang to rights as they have collected from your home address so know exactly where you live. I paid the fare, verbally gave back as good as I got but didn't take it any further as I didn't fancy any repercussions at home.
If the Council inspectors are pulling this many vehicles of the road, then they need to increase their inspection regime until the point that any vehicle failing is an exception.
I occasionally use the black cabs at the railway station, a lot of the time they are filthy inside, towards the end of their working lives and nothing special in comparison to the private hire cars. Whether they're black cabs or private hire they should all be roadworthy.
A well known local private hire taxi collected me from my home a couple of years back and had very visible collision damage on the passenger side doors. I had a train to catch so got in the car to then discover the passenger side airbag had been activated and pushed back into the dashboard like a jack in the box! The driver spoke loudly in a foreign language on his hand held mobile for most of the journey then tried to charge me the night rate (it was lunchtime!). Apparently my address was outside of his firm's area - despite the fact they had stuck a card through my letterbox only the day before. When I challenged him and also offered my opinion on his vehicle he became very irate and said that I could pay now or pay later! Of course they have you bang to rights as they have collected from your home address so know exactly where you live. I paid the fare, verbally gave back as good as I got but didn't take it any further as I didn't fancy any repercussions at home. If the Council inspectors are pulling this many vehicles of the road, then they need to increase their inspection regime until the point that any vehicle failing is an exception. I occasionally use the black cabs at the railway station, a lot of the time they are filthy inside, towards the end of their working lives and nothing special in comparison to the private hire cars. Whether they're black cabs or private hire they should all be roadworthy. GrindletonBob

5:00pm Wed 6 Feb 13

norah bhatty says...

If it is the council who issue the licences for public vehicles, then surely it must be the council who need to ensure that every taxi is fit for purpose every time it is put on the road.

There will always be people who try and dodge the law, but in this instance the council should be bigger and stronger, and prosecute at the first offence, not the second or third - the first. Then lessons will be learned.
If it is the council who issue the licences for public vehicles, then surely it must be the council who need to ensure that every taxi is fit for purpose every time it is put on the road. There will always be people who try and dodge the law, but in this instance the council should be bigger and stronger, and prosecute at the first offence, not the second or third - the first. Then lessons will be learned. norah bhatty

5:09pm Wed 6 Feb 13

KenADI says...

What about the general driving standards of the majority of the drivers? I'm not saying they're all bad, but most of them I see on the road daily are awful. Why don't taxi drivers have to take a regular CPC assessment, as bus drivers do?
(Certificate of Professional Competence)
They may have to take a taxi test before they are issued with a licence, but we all know they "play the game" for the benefit of the test and then go back to their old ways.
What about the general driving standards of the majority of the drivers? I'm not saying they're all bad, but most of them I see on the road daily are awful. Why don't taxi drivers have to take a regular CPC assessment, as bus drivers do? (Certificate of Professional Competence) They may have to take a taxi test before they are issued with a licence, but we all know they "play the game" for the benefit of the test and then go back to their old ways. KenADI

5:51pm Wed 6 Feb 13

norah bhatty says...

KenADI -

I agree with you. Some taxi drivers have no respect for other road users, no indication of which they intend to go, doing 'U' turns as and when, and moving off from stationery without any glance in their wing mirrors. I know there are other road users who are just as bad, but taxi's carry the public and charge, so they should be tested as often as possible. Highway Code - given some of the examples I have witnessed, I do wonder if the Highway Code has been studied in earnest... or not.
KenADI - I agree with you. Some taxi drivers have no respect for other road users, no indication of which they intend to go, doing 'U' turns as and when, and moving off from stationery without any glance in their wing mirrors. I know there are other road users who are just as bad, but taxi's carry the public and charge, so they should be tested as often as possible. Highway Code - given some of the examples I have witnessed, I do wonder if the Highway Code has been studied in earnest... or not. norah bhatty

8:22pm Wed 6 Feb 13

DEO VOLENTE says...

I choose to avoid Taxis in Blackburn. In fact I choose to avoid everything in Blackburn. There is so much in the Town that is "disturbing". This story adds to the established fact that Bl;ackburn is a very dangerous place. A very dangerous place indeed. Avoid "New Labour" Blackburn at all costs. In addition avoid "NewLabour" at all costs, they bankrupt the U.K. morally and economically. A quick walk around the "Northern Ill Town that Blackburn has become is testament to these facts. Never, Never, Never vote "New Labour".

Deus Vobiscum
I choose to avoid Taxis in Blackburn. In fact I choose to avoid everything in Blackburn. There is so much in the Town that is "disturbing". This story adds to the established fact that Bl;ackburn is a very dangerous place. A very dangerous place indeed. Avoid "New Labour" Blackburn at all costs. In addition avoid "NewLabour" at all costs, they bankrupt the U.K. morally and economically. A quick walk around the "Northern Ill Town that Blackburn has become is testament to these facts. Never, Never, Never vote "New Labour". Deus Vobiscum DEO VOLENTE

10:57am Thu 7 Feb 13

Alf Hart says...

As an ex-taxi driver in Blackburn may i take this chance to enlighten on some things?

My personal view on the council is not a good one....

Firstly...650 private hire licences & 70 black cabs in a town this size? How any taxi driver can earn a decent living without cutting any corners is really hard. I put a lot of this down to the council issuing licences to almost anybody who wants one. If they limited the numbers they issue, then maybe taxi drivers will be able to earn a decent enough living to be able to afford good quality vehicles. If you don `t earn much, you can`t afford much.

Secondly....the council charge double the ordinary MOT fare. £70 last time i had mine done with them (you HAVE to use the council mot depot if you`re a taxi driver) That`s 2 or 3 times a year. The council also charge nearly £100 for your new plate EVERY time you get car MOT`d. They also charge around £100 for your yearly 'personal licence' (your badge)

(so far that`s up to £610 just in council fees per year)

Then there`s your taxi insurance. Mine was cheap at over
£2500.....i know some who are over the £4k mark.

Then there`s the one-off payments....the medical (£70 for mine) The CRB....£40

All-in-all.....i feel the council use the towns taxis as a cash cow they milk long, hard & often. They see it as 'the more licences....'the more income we`ll get' .Yet they insist on driving up standards.

It is one of the reasons i got out of the trade. Sick & tired of getting milked dry by a greedy council.

This is why i feel a lot of taxi driver (& firms) flout the rules. To stick within them makes it almost impossible to earn a decent living.
As an ex-taxi driver in Blackburn may i take this chance to enlighten on some things? My personal view on the council is not a good one.... Firstly...650 private hire licences & 70 black cabs in a town this size? How any taxi driver can earn a decent living without cutting any corners is really hard. I put a lot of this down to the council issuing licences to almost anybody who wants one. If they limited the numbers they issue, then maybe taxi drivers will be able to earn a decent enough living to be able to afford good quality vehicles. If you don `t earn much, you can`t afford much. Secondly....the council charge double the ordinary MOT fare. £70 last time i had mine done with them (you HAVE to use the council mot depot if you`re a taxi driver) That`s 2 or 3 times a year. The council also charge nearly £100 for your new plate EVERY time you get car MOT`d. They also charge around £100 for your yearly 'personal licence' (your badge) (so far that`s up to £610 just in council fees per year) Then there`s your taxi insurance. Mine was cheap at over £2500.....i know some who are over the £4k mark. Then there`s the one-off payments....the medical (£70 for mine) The CRB....£40 All-in-all.....i feel the council use the towns taxis as a cash cow they milk long, hard & often. They see it as 'the more licences....'the more income we`ll get' .Yet they insist on driving up standards. It is one of the reasons i got out of the trade. Sick & tired of getting milked dry by a greedy council. This is why i feel a lot of taxi driver (& firms) flout the rules. To stick within them makes it almost impossible to earn a decent living. Alf Hart

11:57am Thu 7 Feb 13

BlackburnEyes says...

norah bhatty wrote:
KenADI - I agree with you. Some taxi drivers have no respect for other road users, no indication of which they intend to go, doing 'U' turns as and when, and moving off from stationery without any glance in their wing mirrors. I know there are other road users who are just as bad, but taxi's carry the public and charge, so they should be tested as often as possible. Highway Code - given some of the examples I have witnessed, I do wonder if the Highway Code has been studied in earnest... or not.
in order to read the highway code they need to have a firm grasp on the English language! I try to avoid mini cabs and stcik to the black cabs they are a little more dearer (especially here in the smoke) but you have the comfort of knowing if you are injured and the driver is not insure or vehicle is deemed unroadworthy then ultimately the licensing authority hav to take some responsibilty...re worn tyres I went over a "crater" and my council wanted to know all sorts of details about history of car maintenance etc before they actually paid out...council admit damage liablity but you need to produce so much info to squeeze the money out of them
[quote][p][bold]norah bhatty[/bold] wrote: KenADI - I agree with you. Some taxi drivers have no respect for other road users, no indication of which they intend to go, doing 'U' turns as and when, and moving off from stationery without any glance in their wing mirrors. I know there are other road users who are just as bad, but taxi's carry the public and charge, so they should be tested as often as possible. Highway Code - given some of the examples I have witnessed, I do wonder if the Highway Code has been studied in earnest... or not.[/p][/quote]in order to read the highway code they need to have a firm grasp on the English language! I try to avoid mini cabs and stcik to the black cabs they are a little more dearer (especially here in the smoke) but you have the comfort of knowing if you are injured and the driver is not insure or vehicle is deemed unroadworthy then ultimately the licensing authority hav to take some responsibilty...re worn tyres I went over a "crater" and my council wanted to know all sorts of details about history of car maintenance etc before they actually paid out...council admit damage liablity but you need to produce so much info to squeeze the money out of them BlackburnEyes

12:51pm Thu 7 Feb 13

hugofakenham says...

Take these taxis off the road and rescind the driver's/taxi firm's licence.
That'd stop it.
Also, any food establishment that scores 0 in the food hygiene ratings should be immediately shut down and the owner legally prevented from running or working in a food establishment.
Time to hit the fraudsters hard and stop ****-footing around.
If you want to earn a living "serving the public" then do just that and stop taking us for a ride with your slovenly, lazy, disrespectful attitude.
Take these taxis off the road and rescind the driver's/taxi firm's licence. That'd stop it. Also, any food establishment that scores 0 in the food hygiene ratings should be immediately shut down and the owner legally prevented from running or working in a food establishment. Time to hit the fraudsters hard and stop ****-footing around. If you want to earn a living "serving the public" then do just that and stop taking us for a ride with your slovenly, lazy, disrespectful attitude. hugofakenham

12:52pm Thu 7 Feb 13

norah bhatty says...

Having read the comments of Alf Hart, it is an eye opener to learn how much it costs to run a taxi these days, but surely the drivers go into the costs before they start to run the business? As Mr Hart has said, he got out of it because of the costs, but not all will do this. In all walks of life, there are always some people who will cut corners so to speak to avoid paying out and not only taxi drivers will do this. The way things are going with all the cut backs etc, it doesn't look as if things are going to improve any time soon. Wonder how many cars etc on the roads are neither taxed nor insured? The reality comes when a person who is fully covered is in an accident with one of the uninsured/untaxed vehicles, what chance has the genuine driver got of claiming? Everyone's pocket is being squeezed to capacity these days, but if someone can't afford to either insure or tax their car, it needs to be taken off the road. No other option.
Having read the comments of Alf Hart, it is an eye opener to learn how much it costs to run a taxi these days, but surely the drivers go into the costs before they start to run the business? As Mr Hart has said, he got out of it because of the costs, but not all will do this. In all walks of life, there are always some people who will cut corners so to speak to avoid paying out and not only taxi drivers will do this. The way things are going with all the cut backs etc, it doesn't look as if things are going to improve any time soon. Wonder how many cars etc on the roads are neither taxed nor insured? The reality comes when a person who is fully covered is in an accident with one of the uninsured/untaxed vehicles, what chance has the genuine driver got of claiming? Everyone's pocket is being squeezed to capacity these days, but if someone can't afford to either insure or tax their car, it needs to be taken off the road. No other option. norah bhatty

12:53pm Thu 7 Feb 13

hugofakenham says...

hugofakenham wrote:
Take these taxis off the road and rescind the driver's/taxi firm's licence. That'd stop it. Also, any food establishment that scores 0 in the food hygiene ratings should be immediately shut down and the owner legally prevented from running or working in a food establishment. Time to hit the fraudsters hard and stop ****-footing around. If you want to earn a living "serving the public" then do just that and stop taking us for a ride with your slovenly, lazy, disrespectful attitude.
what's wrong with the term "****-footing! ?????
[quote][p][bold]hugofakenham[/bold] wrote: Take these taxis off the road and rescind the driver's/taxi firm's licence. That'd stop it. Also, any food establishment that scores 0 in the food hygiene ratings should be immediately shut down and the owner legally prevented from running or working in a food establishment. Time to hit the fraudsters hard and stop ****-footing around. If you want to earn a living "serving the public" then do just that and stop taking us for a ride with your slovenly, lazy, disrespectful attitude.[/p][/quote]what's wrong with the term "****-footing! ????? hugofakenham

12:57pm Thu 7 Feb 13

hugofakenham says...

hugofakenham wrote:
hugofakenham wrote: Take these taxis off the road and rescind the driver's/taxi firm's licence. That'd stop it. Also, any food establishment that scores 0 in the food hygiene ratings should be immediately shut down and the owner legally prevented from running or working in a food establishment. Time to hit the fraudsters hard and stop ****-footing around. If you want to earn a living "serving the public" then do just that and stop taking us for a ride with your slovenly, lazy, disrespectful attitude.
what's wrong with the term "****-footing! ?????
okay ............"p@ssy footing" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]hugofakenham[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hugofakenham[/bold] wrote: Take these taxis off the road and rescind the driver's/taxi firm's licence. That'd stop it. Also, any food establishment that scores 0 in the food hygiene ratings should be immediately shut down and the owner legally prevented from running or working in a food establishment. Time to hit the fraudsters hard and stop ****-footing around. If you want to earn a living "serving the public" then do just that and stop taking us for a ride with your slovenly, lazy, disrespectful attitude.[/p][/quote]what's wrong with the term "****-footing! ?????[/p][/quote]okay ............"p@ssy footing" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hugofakenham

1:00pm Thu 7 Feb 13

hugofakenham says...

Izanears wrote:
If it aint Pendle, it's Rossendale. If it aint Hyndburn, it's Blackburn! Almost every week this paper carries a report of taxis being taken off the road because they are not fit for purpose. When is it going to end? Why do the councils keep letting the taxi operators get away with it year after year?
exactly.
good post.
[quote][p][bold]Izanears[/bold] wrote: If it aint Pendle, it's Rossendale. If it aint Hyndburn, it's Blackburn! Almost every week this paper carries a report of taxis being taken off the road because they are not fit for purpose. When is it going to end? Why do the councils keep letting the taxi operators get away with it year after year?[/p][/quote]exactly. good post. hugofakenham

7:24pm Sun 10 Feb 13

lucky19 says...

Big brown envelopes full of money indeed. What a pile if crock. As a taxi driver i must admit some comments really are absurd. I don't think we make enough money to black mail. Anyway when these random tests are done its done by council staff. Staff that do admin during the day i can assure you that more than half aren't mot inspectors and are not fully qualified because if it actually was that bad. Illegal tyres carry a three penalty points how come none where issued. Also a lot of these cars are self owned so are therefore used to carry own family and children. So if are really that shall to put the public in danger are we really that shallow to put our family in danger the very people we are doing this for?
Big brown envelopes full of money indeed. What a pile if crock. As a taxi driver i must admit some comments really are absurd. I don't think we make enough money to black mail. Anyway when these random tests are done its done by council staff. Staff that do admin during the day i can assure you that more than half aren't mot inspectors and are not fully qualified because if it actually was that bad. Illegal tyres carry a three penalty points how come none where issued. Also a lot of these cars are self owned so are therefore used to carry own family and children. So if are really that shall to put the public in danger are we really that shallow to put our family in danger the very people we are doing this for? lucky19

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