Stricter rules to be introduced for prospective South Lakeland taxi drivers (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Stricter rules to be introduced for prospective South Lakeland taxi drivers
10:22am Thursday 13th September 2012 in News
STRICTER rules for prospective taxi drivers have been introduced by South Lakeland District Council’s Licensing Committee.
Before being granted a licence, all taxi drivers applying to SLDC will now need to pass a Local Knowledge Test and Driving Standards Agency (DSA) assessment.
Existing drivers will not be required to take the test unless they have had their licence suspended or revoked. A council spokesman said the test will ensure that a reasonable level of service is provided to members of the public. It will test the applicant’s knowledge of popular tourist attractions and amenities plus routes to various locations.
Would be drivers will also be quizzed on basic numeracy and the test will also cover basic literacy including listening, speaking, reading and writing in English.
The DSA driving assessment will test the driver on a number of competencies including awareness and anticipation, road and traffic conditions, correct use of speed, observation and mirror use. It will determine whether the driver is in control of the vehicle and makes sure that passenger safety and comfort are important to the driver.
The test costs between £80 to £96 and the nearest driving test centres where the DSA assessment is carried out are at Preston, Carlisle, Workington and Skipton.
Coun Sheila Eccles, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “We considered the options and decided that new applicants will be required to pass the DSA driving assessment to show they are able to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle safely. Prospective taxi drivers will also be required to pass a local knowledge test before their application is accepted. “The council requires taxi drivers in South Lakeland to deliver a safe and excellent service with a high level of customer care. These new measures brought in by SLDC will improve and maintain a high standard overall and the public will benefit from a much better service.” A proposal for prospective taxi drivers to take a BTEC Level 2 qualification in taxi driving was considered but the Licensing Committee decided against it. Officers will review the option with the local taxi trade.