Taxi Drivers To Take English Language Test Before Licensing
Taxi drivers could be forced to take English tests to prove they can communicate with their passengers.
New Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers in Wellingborough could also face compulsory maths tests to ensure they are confident in taking payment and giving change.
The new proposals have been put forward by Wellingborough Council as part of plans to improve standards.
Only Hackney Carriage drivers are currently asked to undertake a knowledge test of routes across the town.
This test also acts as a basic English test.
Barry Liffen, chairman of the Wellingborough Hackney Carriage Association, said: “If it’s simple maths tests then I think it’s fair.
“I think drivers have got to have a basic command of English to be able to communicate with passengers.
“But, if they are asking us to sit a GCSE in English then I think it’s going a bit too far.
“Anything that increases professionalism and confidence in taxi drivers in Wellingborough has got to be good, but I don’t think there have been many complaints about drivers in Wellingborough.”
Under the proposed new policy taxi drivers could have to take advanced driving tests if there are complaints about their driving or if they are involved in collisions.
Karl Morrissey, 46, was a taxi driver for 27 years in Wellingborough before leaving the profession this year.
He said: “I agree with anything that is going to get the standards up.
“There are so many people of different nationalities coming in to this line of work, but the drivers need to be able to understand all of their passengers. I agree with the maths tests because passengers would not be happy if they were short-changed.”
Councilors will discuss the plans at a meeting on Monday. People will then be able to comment on the proposed new policy during a period of public consultation.