Private Hire drivers and Chauffeurs will not face compulsory Driving Standards Authority, tests after the plans were dropped by TfL, following a successful campaign by the Licensed Private Hire Car Association.
The proposals were dropped as hundreds of operators voted against the plans at the recent LPHCA AGM in London with the argument that introducing such a requirement during difficult times(*) would severely impact the industry. Additionally, it was said that the tests would cost the business millions of pounds before any others costs are factored in.
Steve Wright, Chairman of the LPHCA asked John Mason, Director of Private Hire Licensing at TfL, how many complaints are received by members of the public in regards to driving standards – his reply was ‘probably a handful. (**)
Mr Wright highlighted in the latest Private Hire News magazine; “We pointed out that this is a ‘test’ although the Consultation Paper quite misleadingly said it ‘Improves the level of driving skills, disabled passenger understanding, road safety and ‘eco- driving’.
He added; “A test cannot do any of these things and we elaborated further to say much of what this test won’t do is already undertaken by the Industry, which is of course is achieved by ‘training’ not ‘testing’.’
Last month (February 2012) the proposal to proceed with DSA Tests were dropped after the potential merits and disadvantages were set out in a paper for the TfL Surface Transport Panel.