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Council document blunder means private hire drivers in Plymouth won’t need to pass knowledge test

An error in Plymouth City Council’s latest taxi and private hire licensing policy has paved the way for anyone who wishes to obtain a private hire licence, the opportunity to do so without having to pass a local knowledge test.

Up until the blunder, private hire drivers, as well as hackney carriage taxi drivers, would have to complete the topography exam before being allowed to operate.

Licensing members had proposed to remove this requirement for private hire drivers as they believed it was not necessary as they were pre-booked, meaning drivers could check the best route before picking up their fare. The proposal was eventually rejected.

But the blunder came when the document policy was not amended from the proposal document which stated only hackney carriage taxis would be required to pass the exam.

So, from 1 May 2022, any new private hire driver applicants won’t have to spend the time learning the local routes. According to Plymouth Live, the council said it may now have to amend the policy, but can only do this at a full council meeting, which can’t be called until after the May local elections.


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