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Tunbridge Wells Borough Council proposes mandatory card payments for all taxis

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) is considering making card readers compulsory for taxi drivers in Tunbridge Wells.

The move comes after the council received a growing number of complaints from members of the public who were unable to get a taxi late at night, as drivers couldn’t accept card payments. The policy review would mean taxis servicing Tunbridge Wells station would have to have a card reader and the ability to take payment. The Council is set to update its regulatory policy for Hackney Carriages and private hire taxis, and a public consultation involving both residents and drivers is due to take place.

The proposal has been made in a bid to improve public safety, as the option to pay with a card will mean those without cash won’t be left stranded. However, many drivers have raised concerns over poor signal for their card readers, processing fees and an inevitable price hike for passengers.

Under the Council’s new proposals, drivers who refuse card payments or do not have a card payment device could get nine points on their Council taxi licence. Any driver who gets 12 points on their licence in two years could face punishment. The changes could come into effect from 21 November 2023.

According the Times Local News, this proposal has however been welcomed by many of the town’s commuters who have faced difficulties in the past due to lack of cash or inability to use cash machines at night.


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