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Wolverhampton City Council hits back at claims it issues Private Hire licences too easily

In a new report highlighted by the Express and Star, it has been revealed that around 50 percent of private hire licence applicants fail to pass the current tests set out by Wolverhampton City Council. 

Council bosses say that their tests are amongst the toughest in the country with drivers tested on various regulations surrounding the job, including what passengers can and cannot do and where they need to display their badges. Those who fail are not granted a licence. 

Members say that their tough tests, which will also now include training on how to spot modern slavery, will improve drivers standards. 

Chairman of the council's licensing committee, Councillor Alan Bolshaw, said: “The assessment and examination process is robust and of a very high quality. We believe it to be proportional to the job of a private hire driver and as a result there is a significant failure rate which highlights the fact it is difficult." 

Wolverhampton City Council has come under criticism of late due to the astonishing increase in the amount of private hire licences being issued due to it's lower fee's compared to surrounding licensing authorities.  

A number of protests have taken place in the city centre by Taxi drivers to highlight their concerns of how many licenses are being granted to drivers who not only work in Wolverhampton but in surrounding cities also. 

The report said: "Currently, the number of attendees failing the written assessment is nearly 50 per cent. This has previously been thought of as confirmation that the course and assessment is sufficiently robust. "However, at the last review, it was discussed with the training provider whether the very high failure rate could be because more and more content has been added, meaning less time spent on each subject ensuring the student understood the lessons being taught. 

"With the modern slavery content being added to the existing learning categories, it has been decided to extend the course to a full day. This will enable more time to be spend on each area of training and will produce better drivers who are better trained and more equipped to perform the role of private hire driver. The stringent testing and mandatory questions will remain, ensuring the calibre of driver is maintained." 

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