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Private hire driver gains Bristol licence despite not undertaking local knowledge test

Two other private hire drivers refused renewal

A private hire driver has been granted a licence in Bristol after convincing local licensing officers that he will only engage in chauffeuring work.

The unnamed driver, known only as GB had appealed to Bristol City Council's licensing committee for an exemption from both the local knowledge test and the gold standard course which covers customer care including the requirement to consider the specific needs of disabled passengers. 

The driver successfully argued that as he now intended to join the family chauffeuring business, working in the greater Bristol region; normally between hotels and the airport including film sets, doing the knowledge of Bristol would have no added benefit to his driving route as he would be working between fixed destinations.

He also confirmed that he had been a care worker for a number of years supporting adults with learning difficulties and that it was not the cost attached to the test that lead to the request but the need to have him join the family business as soon as possible to provide support.  

Despite council policy dictating that all applicants fulfill the requirement of a fit and proper person test by undertaking a number of mandatory steps before the issuing of a private hire driver's license, the committee were satisfied that the applicant could be treated as an exception to Council policy and be granted a licence without undertaking the knowledge test subject to an additional condition being attached to the licence to ensure he only engaged in executive or chauffeur work in an executive vehicle as defined by Council policy. 

However, GB must still undertake the Gold Standard training, an Immigration Right to Licence check; a DVLA Mandate and an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Check.

Other cases which were heard on 17 September included a private hire driver being refused a renewal of his private hire license after being caught plying for hire on two occasions and the refusal of a renewal for a private hire driver for failing to declare his convictions.

Image Source: Bristol BID

Image Author: Colin Moody

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