London taxi representatives say they are ‘strongly opposed’ to any ideas of English Language tests being forced onto black cab drivers in the capital.
The United Cabbies Group (UCG) took to social media to dispel any notion that these tests should be brought in giving the already intense oral nature of testing to become a London taxi driver.
Private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers must undertake the test. Regulators Transport for London (TfL) sees the requirement as essential for public safety and that it's vital that all PHV drivers are able to communicate in English at an appropriate level.
The English Language Requirement (ELR) was first introduced in London in 2016 and transitional arrangements were put in place to allow drivers time to comply.
On 1 October 2021, TfL changed how they assessed London PHV drivers' English language skills and introduced a requirement for drivers to show an understanding of safety, equality and regulatory matters (the SERU assessment). Drivers must satisfy the ELR by taking and passing a new speaking and listening test and the SERU assessment is used to assess their reading and writing skills.
Throughout the testing period undergone by taxi drivers, known as the Knowledge of London, the applicant must sit more than TEN face-to-face oral exams to display their knowledge of the road network.
A UCG Spokesperson said: “The UCG strongly oppose the suggestion that Taxi Drivers should have to undertake the English Language test. By completing the KOL Taxi Drivers have demonstrated they have a topographical knowledge of London, and a command of the English Language.”