Eastbourne Borough Council has launched a public consultation which could see taxi and private hire drivers made to pass a new set of tests.
The new proposals focus on four main objectives: the safety and welfare of the public; to encourage environmental sustainability; monitoring and improving standards of service in the town and ensuring efficient and effective taxi and private hire provisions in Eastbourne.
One aspect of the draft guidance is wheelchair accessibility. It is proposed that all new hackney carriage taxis be wheelchair accessible, which goes with the council’s main emphasis on supporting equality.
If approved, all drivers will be required to attend training sessions on disability awareness, which must be completed before any licence is issued.
Child exploitation and safeguarding will also be introduced into the knowledge test, along with particular vehicle requirements, one being that all vehicle engines meet the European standards.
A disqualification for any applicant caught cheating during the application and test period will also be introduced, with the right to refuse that individual the chance to reapply within the next three years.
The consultation also focuses on what the council have called “Introduction of ‘intended use’ for Hackney Carriages” which they say will ensure the council keeps local control over Hackney Carriages that it licenses. Applicants will be asked which area they intend to operate in(intended use) for the purposes of fulfilling pre-booked journeys. Applicants will need to demonstrate that they will only take bookings predominantly within the borough.
The consultation runs from Tuesday, April 23 to Tuesday, June 18 at 5pm and is open to residents, hackney carriage drivers, private hire drivers, operators and other stakeholders.
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