Guildford Council’s licensing policy has been updated to improve standards and make services more efficient. All drivers will need to sign up to the Disclosure and Barring Service to be checked every six months, all licensed taxis will be fitted with CCTV and there will be improved staff training and vetting for PH operators, following new rules by the DfT. There will also be stricter vehicle emissions standards to help reduce air pollution in the borough and improved main- tenance standards to ensure vehicles are safer.


South Lakeland taxi drivers are calling for the maximum meter rate to be raised to bring it ‘in line with inflation’. The Westmorland Gazette reports that Windermere driver, Sarah Ibbetson, said the lack of change in the rate, which has been in place since 2014, was causing ‘considerable hard- ship’ as costs had increased in the same period. South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) has said it is ‘com- mitted to reviewing fares later this year’ and ‘will engage with taxi drivers, operators and members of the public’. Mrs Ibbetson added that taxis must now take card payments and that two to three per cent is lost on every transaction. Mrs Ibbetson, whose husband, Mark, is also a taxi driver, said she had written to the council, the licensing office, individual councillors and MP Tim Farron about the issue and was ‘fed up of being so comprehensively ignored’. Bob Mullen, a Barrow taxi driver, said drivers in the town had been in talks with Barrow Council for ‘quite a while now’ but that everything’s been held up with the pandemic. An SLDC spokesman said: “One of the main factors in deter- mining fares is fuel prices, which at the moment are broadly lower than they were in 2014.”


Taxi and PH car drivers in Glasgow will be required to com- plete their Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) next year before they can renew their licence. GlasgowLive reports that from January 1, 2022 drivers will be able to achieve their certificate in Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver at SCQF level 5. The introduction of the course was delayed due to the


Babergh Council has been forced to scrap new fares and admit they could “inadvertently enable discrimination”. Suffolk News reports that Babergh District Council’s cabinet in February agreed to a new table of fares to be introduced on 5 April. But the council said that it has had to suspend the new fare structure in order to prevent a breach of the Equal- ity Act. A report said: “In the week before the implementation date, the council received representations from the Suffolk Dis- ability Forum that the revised fares potentially discriminated against people with protected characteristics due to the two-tier nature of the scale of fares which enables drivers to charge a higher rate for larger vehicles. “The charge is based on the size of the vehicle rather than the number of passengers. Although the fares represent the maximum chargeable amount, the council has agreed a scheme that could inadvertently enable discrimination. “On investigation it has emerged that a full Equality Impact Assessment was not carried out and therefore the impacts of the revised scheme were not properly assessed or mitigated. The monitoring officer has advised that the decision needs to be quashed and reconsidered in order to prevent the council breaching its duties under section 49 of the Equality Act. Therefore, the new fares will not be enforced at this time.” It is not yet clear when a revised attempt at the fares will be brought forward. Trade members who gave representations in the previous consultations warned that basing the fares on vehicle size would unfairly hit passengers travelling alone, those with prams and wheelchair users, and suggested instead basing the tariff uplift on the number of passengers for a journey.


impact of Covid-19. In order to establish the views of relevant stakeholders, a meeting took place with all the current course providers in March this year. There are currently six training providers in Glasgow approved to deliver the course who have all invest- ed financially to be able to deliver this course. Chairman councillor Alex Wilson said: “I think it is good if we can get these operations up and running as soon as we can, we have invested a lot of money in setting this up. I know there are challenges for our drivers given there is not the same nighttime economy. I propose that we have a lead in time and start on January 1, 2022 just to give us a chance to get the nighttime economy back in business as well as any other contract work out there. “I have got nothing but sympathy for the trade in general.” The start date has been set for 1 January but if anything hap- pens which could delay this then the committee will review its decision.

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