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ROUND THE COUNCILS WAKEFIELD:


12-MONTH PLATES FOR ALL TAXIS AND PHVS


Wakefield Council has approved 12-month plates for all taxis and PHVs. Previously vehicles over five years old were only given a licence for six months at a cost of £120 per renewal. Six-monthly tests will continue which drivers say in the interest of public safety that they have no issue with. Congratulations to both the Wakefield Drivers Association and the Wakefield District Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Association who have called for this change for some time with one local driver having started an online petition.


NUNEATON AND BEDWORTH: NEW ENGLISH & SAFEGUARDING TESTS


New taxi and PH drivers will be forced to take an English and safeguarding test to work in Nuneaton and Bedworth. According to the Coventry Telegraph, Nuneaton and Bed- worth Borough Council wants to introduce the tests, which will cost £35, for new applicants to get their licence to operate across the borough. Cllr Andy Sergeant raised concerns about adding extra financial pressure on drivers, who he says have struggled during the pandemic. However, the proposals were agreed. The test will entail: an English test, numeracy test, local knowledge test (may be different for taxi and PH), wheelchair users and users with assistant dogs training, safe- guarding training (including: adults safeguarding, vulnerable passengers, elderly passenger, disability awareness, recog- nising non visible disability), CSE and disability training. The applicant will be given three attempts to complete and pass the training programme. If they fail any element of the tests three times, they will not be allowed to book onto the training programme for a period of twelve months. Each element must be passed and retests will be allowed on specific elements of the training which have been failed following retraining on the element if appropriate. Should applicants fail the English or numeracy tests then applicants can seek and undertake training by an external organisation themselves before resitting the test. The council has said there may be occasions when it requires an existing licensed driver to complete and pass one or more of the training modules. This may be the result of a substan- tiated complaint or if the licensing authority believes that a driver’s standard of driving or behaviour falls below the standards required. The council will carry out consultation with the trade, public and any other relevant groups about the plans before the new tests will come into force.


AUGUST 2021


STAFFORD: TOWN CENTRE TAXI RANK TO BE AXED


A Stafford town centre taxi rank is being axed after proving unpopular with cabbies and passengers alike. The Express and Star reports that the Clarke Street stand was created six years ago to provide five rank spaces follow- ing the construction of the Odeon Luxe cinema in Bridge Street. But now it is set to be removed – and there will be a new rank in nearby South Walls. Stafford Borough Council's cabinet recently gave the go-ahead for the Clarke Street stand to be revoked. Cllr Jonathan Price, cabinet member for environment, told the meeting notice had been given to the public and the taxi trade about the plans to remove the stand and no objections had been received in response.


DORSET: NEW TAXI LICENSING POLICY PUBLISHED


Officers at Dorset Council want to find out what people think about their proposed new Taxi Licencing Policy, which has been created to update and replace all the different licenc- ing policies that were in place while Dorset’s Borough and District councils were in operation. In the draft policy a new maximum tariff for taxi fares will come into force and taxi drivers will be required to have more regular DBS checks as part of a new policy being proposed across the whole of the Dorset Council area. Taxis will be permitted to charge companies to advertise on their vehicles to earn extra money, while all applications for taxi licences made for fully EVs will be accepted. A key part of the policy is to remove zones from all Dorset Council areas where there are currently no limits to the number of licensed taxis - the only area where there is a limit is in the area formerly covered by Weymouth and Portland BC. Here, there will be a limit of 80 hackneys, however, this limit does not apply to fully electric licensed taxis or PHVs. Because there will be no zones, apart from the Weymouth and Portland zone, the council has proposed setting one maximum tariff for taxis across the whole of the council area. The length of time in between DBS checks has reduced from once every three years to once every six months. The policy also permits drivers to advertise on licensed vehicles to provide alternative sources of income. You can find the draft policy and consultation form on the Dorset Council website. Deadline to submit responses is 19 September 2021 - a final draft policy will be considered for adoption in October and November.


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