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TfL SUPPORTS need for ‘higher degree of driving ability’, but no decision made on PHV advanced test



Transport for London (TfL) has SUPPORTED the need for taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers to display a ‘higher degree of driving ability’, but admits they are yet to make a decision on whether to proceed with proposed advanced driving tests for London PHV drivers.


A raft of new recommendations were recently made by the Department for Transport (DfT), covering pretty much all hot topics impacting the taxi and PHV industry right now. This ranged from enhanced driving standard requirements to better signage on taxis, but controversially didn’t include cross-border hiring.

Licensing authorities were asked to respond to the initial proposals put forward. One of the proposals asked whether licensing authorities agree that taxi and PHV drivers should provide evidence of a higher degree of driving ability than that of a private motorist.

TfL agreed with the statement saying higher standards would ‘contribute towards TfL’s safer travel initiatives such as its 'Vision Zero’ and that advanced abilities would help taxi and PHV drivers ‘demonstrate that they are considerate, safety conscious and have a high degree of vehicle control skills to make sure that customers travel safely, as well as in comfort’.


Despite supporting the requirement for higher standards, the capital’s regulator admitted they are still yet to decide whether to proceed with the proposed advanced driving test for London PHV drivers.

The TfL statement read: “In 2018 we consulted on introducing an advanced driving test for London PHV drivers, similar to that already required for London taxi drivers.


“It is our policy that all taxi driver applicants are required to undertake a taxi-specific driving test in a TfL licensed taxi, paying particular attention to passenger safety and comfort, and vehicle features. This additional test is necessary due to the different handling characteristics of licensed taxi vehicles and the need to demonstrate competency in using the features to assist people with disabilities.

“While still a requirement, delivering the driving test for taxi drivers was paused following the sudden cessation of DVSA taxi driving tests. DVSA ceased providing the tests and focussed on carrying out tests it has a statutory responsibility to provide. DVSA taxi assessments aren’t required by law.

“We have not taken a decision on whether to proceed with the proposed advanced driving test for London PHV drivers while we concentrate on implementing the Statutory Taxi and PHV Standards and giving time for the trade to recover from the impact of the pandemic, but it will be revisited once the Statutory Standards and associated processes have been implemented.


“While a higher standard of driving may be considered appropriate, it is recommended that any requirement for additional testing is supported by appropriate evidence that it will contribute to safer travel and a reduction in collisions.”

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