Updated: Apr 12
Basingstoke Borough Council are aiming to streamline taxi driver application processes in a bid to attract more cabbies to the area.
The current spike in demand follows a huge drop in demand for licensed taxi drivers during the pandemic. Basingstoke Borough Council is working to simplify and streamline the application process for new drivers.
This comes after residents reported problems trying to book a taxi in the town which is having a knock on affect on local businesses.
According to the Basingstoke Gazette, the owners of The Gabardine Bar, located in London Street, have said that the difficulty in booking a taxi is putting people off going out for an evening and has resulted in a drop in footfall.
Fran O’Halloran, who owns the bar with her partner Kevin Nelson, told local news sources that the taxi service in Basingstoke is “appalling” and called on the council to act.
The council’s efforts to simplify and streamline the application process for new taxi drivers is seen as a step forwards to addressing the issue, but a lack of new applicants remains a nationwide issue.
According to the Basingstoke Gazette, a council spokesperson said: “The council’s role as a licensing authority is to ensure that applicants are ‘fit and proper’ people to hold a licence.
"The licensing team is currently processing over 50 new driver applications which will take the number of licenced drivers above pre-pandemic levels.
“This should lead to an improvement in the availability and reliability of the service. The licensing team has also just granted a new private hire operator licence which could provide more consumer choice locally.”