A taxi firm is stating importance of pre booking taxis for Christmas parties, Christmas day and New Years eve.

Broadway Cabs in Ponteland, have seen a rise in bookings for Christmas events and believes that prebooking is necessary to stop customers being left vulnerable.

A spokesperson for the company said: "It is important to prebook a taxi.

"It is safe in the knowledge that you have a taxi at a specified time and location to get you home.

"There will be bogus taxis on the prowl over Xmas, also people who’ve drank too much alcohol, on their own making them more vulnerable.

"Ringing at the last minute to get a taxi home and unable to get a private taxi of their choice who they trust have the potential to fall prey to unscrupulous people posing as taxi drivers or left wandering the streets in the dark trying to get home."

The taxi firm has tried to make sure to advertise available slots to encourage pre-booking due to make sure customers are safe but are facing ongoing issues.

They said: "For most companies, us included, we book up very quickly especially on weekends.

"We advertise on Ponteland Facebook pages to encourage pre booking for this reason.

"There is also a lack of taxis across the region and UK in general since the pandemic started hence a supply and demand issue leaving many unable to get taxis home.

"This undoubtedly leaves people open to exploitation causing them personal safety issues.

"We do our best to fit people in if they ring last minute but it isn’t always possible. It is frustrating as our key message all the time is to pre book."