Council should reconsider taxi policy

SIR - I write in response to the story Taxi drivers must renew their licences on time (Gazette, November 16). I can fully understand their concerns about unlicensed and therefore uninsured taxi drivers. Are the implications of any expired licences necessi

SIR - I write in response to the story Taxi drivers must renew their licences on time (Gazette, November 16). I can fully understand their concerns about unlicensed and therefore uninsured taxi drivers.

Are the implications of any expired licences necessitating re-application too severe?

After all, this measure would not exonerate a taxi driver's legal consequences in the event of an accident before being re-instated. Surely, it can be viewed as a form of punishment and deterrent safeguarding the council's interest.

I note that reminders are sent out one month prior to renewal, but proof of posting is not proof of delivery.


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Surely, for some sort of premium, taxi drivers could be sent a recorded delivery letter and follow up by a telephone call to avoid any pitfalls in the renewing process.

I note that it was suggested that taxi drivers may face loss of earnings should they fail to renew on time.

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As an ADI who offers specialist training for anyone taking the DSA Taxi driving test as required in this situation - a test which is extremely strict and no guarantees of a pass as a formality. There is anything up to eight weeks waiting time for a test in the Barnstaple area.

Together with the cost of the council test and driving test, there is the possibility that several hundred pounds would be needed to be found without any source of income. This could effectively cause great financial burden.

I am in contact with one of the drivers who need to re-qualify and was dismayed to hear of his plight, as it was my understanding from him that an earlier offer of payment to the council to renew was refused on the grounds that it was too early.

Having contacted the Private Hire Association, I was reliably informed that had the driver been a member they would have intervened on his behalf.

I would hope that the council would reconsider their policy and instigate a better system for renewal of licences.

Ken Praill ADI, Barnstaple.

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