Private hire drivers to undergo same knowledge test as Taxi drivers after  council agree new licence

Private hire drivers in North Lanarkshire will now have to pass the same geographical knowledge test currently required only to obtain a hackney carriage licence.

At a North Lanarkshire Council meeting of the finance and resources committee, Councillor Claire Barclay said: “As a frequent user of private hire cars I have had issues with drivers not knowing the area and relying on satnav.”

Barclay even recounted a journey she had in a private hire vehicle when the driver attempted a journey to Ravenscraig but ended up taking her to a new build housing estate.

Council officers reporting to the committee opposed the new conditions, stressing they thought it would be best to continue the status quo, in which only taxi drivers are required to pass a knowledge test, stating that only a small number of complaints had been received.

However, based on their own experiences taking trips in private hire vehicles, several members of the committee said, the true number of drivers displaying a lack of the required knowledge was surely much higher.

As confirmed by the Motherwell Times, Councillor Jim Hume moved for the extension of knowledge tests rather than maintaining the status quo, and members backed this change by 24 votes to 11.

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