New test for taxi driv­ers

SLC to in­tro­duce course

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

New taxi driv­ers in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang could soon need to pass a course if they want to op­er­ate in the area.

Coun­cil­lors on South La­nark­shire’s li­cens­ing com­mit­tee are to­day (Wed­nes­day) set to ap­prove plans to in­tro­duce train­ing for new driv­ers.

Any driver who doesn’t pass within six months will have their li­cence re­voked.

It is hoped the move will im­prove cus­tomer ser­vice in the area

The course was orig­i­nally dis­cussed with part of the re­gion’s dis­abil­ity part­ner­ship as a means of im­prov­ing ac­cess for dis­abled peo­ple to li­cenced taxis.

How­ever, as dis­cus­sions con­tin­ued it was ex­panded to in­clude other as­pects of cus­tomer care.

A re­port to coun­cil­lors will say these as­pects “should en­hance the ex­pe­ri­ence of all mem­bers of the public when us­ing taxis.”

It adds: “It is also hoped that such a course will em­pha­sise the pro­fes­sional na­ture of taxi driv­ers.”

The course will cover a num­ber of as­pects of cus­tomer care, in­clud­ing dis­abil­ity aware­ness.

Due to dif­fi­cul­ties in de­vel­op­ing a course suit­able for both ex­ist­ing and new driv­ers, the course will be in­tro­duced for new driv­ers only.

The course will be as­sessed af­ter a pi­lot pe­riod of a year and will be in­tro­duced for driv­ers ap­ply­ing for their li­cence af­ter Jan­uary 1, 2016.

A fur­ther course will be de­vel­oped for ex­ist­ing driv­ers in that time.

If suc­cess­ful, it could be rolled out to all new pri­vate hire driv­ers in the re­gion as well.

The re­port warns po­ten­tial new driv­ers: “All new taxi driv­ers will be given six months to suc­cess­fully com­plete the train­ing course.

“Fail­ure to meet the timescales, as­sum­ing that the course is avail­able and bar­ring any ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances, to be de­ter­mined by the Li­cens­ing and Reg­is­tra­tion Team, will re­sult in the taxi driver’s li­cence be­ing sus­pended with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

“To e n s u re the im­por­tance of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the train­ing course is made clear, a spe­cific con­di­tion will be in­serted into the taxi driv­ers’ con­di­tions of li­cence.”

Driv­ers cur­rently have to pass a route test as well as have a li­cence granted by com­mit­tee.

Li­censes are lim­ited for taxi driv­ers. There is no limit to pri­vate hire cabs but these are not per­mit­ted to pick peo­ple up off the street.

The course will en­hance the ex­pe­ri­ence

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