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Woman's 'terrifying' 6am Bolt taxi journey amid claims car stank of cannabis and driver reached 70mph

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 06/10/2022 Sophie Halle-Richards

A woman says she was left fearing for her life during a "terrifying" journey in a Bolt taxi.

The customer, who asked to remain anonymous, booked a trip from her home in Salford to work in Audenshaw with the taxi app, which has rivalled the likes of Uber since its launch in the region earlier this year.

She claims that as she and her partner got inside the vehicle at around 6am on Sunday morning (October 2), they both noticed what they described a 'strong smell of weed.'

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During the journey, she says she and her partner had to beg the driver to slow down after claims he reached speeds of up to 70mph on the Mancunian Way - which has a limit of 30mph.

She also claimed that when she saw the driver's face in the mirror, she noticed his eyes were 'red and alert' and she feared that he might be under the influence of drugs.

Speaking to the M.E.N, she said: "The driver arrived and parked up on double yellow lines in a junction which in itself seemed dangerous to us both. When we got in the car it stank.

"I've never smoked anything before but when we got in it smelt like weed. The driver was speeding straight away and he went through a red light.

The taxi app was first introduced in the city earlier this year © supplied The taxi app was first introduced in the city earlier this year

"We were just holding on to our seats hoping we'd be safe. Then he started to drive around 70mph on Mancunian Way. My partner just said to him 'we are not in a rush please can you slow down' as we were afraid for our lives.

"We were afraid to ask again because he was obviously high. When I looked at him in the mirror his eyes were red and widely open."

The woman says the journey to work should have taken around twelve minutes at that time in the morning, but instead only took five due to the speed the driver was travelling. She reported the incident to Bolt and Greater Manchester Police straight away.

"I just don't want this to happen to someone else," she said. "We are looking to buy a car in a couple of months because we are not feeling safe using private hire anymore."

A Bolt spokesperson said: "We’re aware of this case and have obviously been concerned about the events that were reported. The safety of all those that use Bolt is important to us.

"We’ve conducted an internal investigation and are on hand to work with the local authorities should they decide to progress. We cannot comment further until any process is completed.

"We’ve taken initial interim action as a safety precaution and to allow time for any external investigation to begin. We can’t comment any further for risk of prejudicing any legal process."

Greater Manchester Police have been approached for comment.

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