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Taxi licensing changes

Andrew Gilbert

July 5, 2018

Allerdale Borough Council's Licensing Committee yesterday [July 4] agreed changes to the taxi licensing criteria by introducing a new knowledge test. 

The new test is designed to improve the service provided to taxi customers and reassure them about safety and security when using taxis. The test will cover a variety of topics. These include general knowledge about the area, relevant legislation such as in relation to safeguarding and disabilities, as well as the Highway Code. It will also cover basic numeracy, general licence conditions and taxi legislation. 

The test will be for all new and existing hackney carriage and private hire drivers. Once the test is introduced, current drivers will have up to 12 months to complete the test.  

The committee agreed to commence the procurement of an electronic knowledge test by an external company which will administer the test on behalf of the Council.  

Angela Kendall, chair of the committee, said at the meeting: "This is an excellent report and idea and it is about time we introduced this test to join the 21st century and do what we can to help reassure the public when they get into a taxi that the driver is a fit and proper person. This will also make it easier for us to make decisions on applicants when they come to our panel." 

These sentiments were echoed by others on the committee. Cllr Ron Munby described the changes as making the service "even more professional" with Cllr Billy Miskelly noting that more and more councils are successfully introducing a test and therefore Allerdale should follow suit. 

The vote, held on July 4 2018, was unanimous.