A MAJOR Oxford taxi company has reassured customers that wild rumours alleging one of its drivers raped female passengers are unfounded.

The claims against an unnamed Royal Cars driver were circulated on a Facebook page for students at Oxford University's St Anne's College last week.

A post, which appears to have been subsequently deleted, said there had been 'multiple allegations' of an individual driving women to 'isolated areas to rape them'.

St Anne's briefly stopped using Royal Cars while police investigated, but it is understood neither Oxford City Council nor the police have received any formal allegations.

Read also: New Oxford rail station car park could open this month

The taxi company's human resources manager, Abdullah Banaras, said 'two or three' concerned colleges had contacted Royal Cars, but the firm had received no official complaints.

He said: "The colleges have been in contact quite a lot and said there's some hearsay going around.

"We've obviously spoken to police and the council and they said nothing has been reported."

He added: "No colleges have turned around and said they wouldn't use us.

"We work closely with many colleges and safety is our main priority."

Read also: Taxi driver denied again in legal battle against firm

The taxi company's website states that all its drivers are DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service - formerly CRB) checked, with Mr Banaras revealing that checks are often repeated for added security.

Royal Cars, based in Cowley, claims to be Oxford's 'largest private hire service provider' and has a fleet of more than 400 vehicles.

Its website also states that all drivers undergo a 'medical examination' before being licensed by Oxfordshire's district councils.

The allegations are believed to have been posted on a Facebook page for St. Anne's College Middle Common Room, which is the college's community of postgraduate students.

The post appeared early last week, but was deleted by Wednesday morning.

Read also: Oxford's taxi drivers given permission to use streets near Westgate Centre

On Wednesday, one Twitter user posted a similar claim, but the official Royal Cars account replied saying it 'had been in close contact with the local police, colleges, universities and [the] council, there seems to be no truth in these rumours'.

Mr Banaras said the company took such claims seriously and that he '100 per cent condemned' the alleged actions and called them 'wrong on every level'.

He added that any driver accused of such behaviour would be 'dismissed instantly', but admitted it was difficult to follow up the allegations.

The human resources manager said: "It's difficult to grasp on our side because there's no name behind this.

"If someone gave us some details to refer to we would always deal with it properly in house."

Read also: Cab stickers will help prevent 'dooring' of cyclists

The Facebook post added that Oxford University Students' Union (OUSU) 'recommends not using' Royal Cars, but it is understood OUSU was unaware of the allegations until they appeared on social media.

The students' union declined to comment on the issue.

A St Anne's spokesperson explained that Oxford University Security Services alerted Thames Valley Police to the allegations, but was told there was 'no truth in the matter'. The force said it could not comment further.

The college confirmed the restriction on Royal Cars had been lifted after less than 24 hours and no taxis were ordered from the college in that time.

A college spokesperson said: "St Anne’s College has not seen the original Facebook post and it was not shared on any of the college’s official social media accounts. We have no information that would support claims made in the social media post.

Read also: Electric taxis to be repaired in Oxford

"After a brief suspension of usual arrangements while information was sought, there has been no impact on college utilisation of any taxi service in Oxford."

"We work closely with the university’s security services to provide advice to students about sensible measures they can take to maximise their personal safety.

"This includes general advice about only getting into vehicles that are confirmed to be pre-booked registered taxis."

Oxford City Council, as the licensing authority, confirmed it had not received a complaint in relation to any Royal Cars drivers.

The city council's website states: "We take all complaints made about the level of service provided by drivers, condition of licensed vehicles, and the customer service provided by operators very seriously."

The council advises that if a service 'does not meet your expectations', passengers must note the driver's badge number and the vehicle licence plate or vehicle registration number.

Complainants are also urged to note the time, date and location of the incident and remember any 'distinguishing features' about the vehicle.