Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cabbies Hit out as Basic English Test Is Shelved

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cabbies Hit out as Basic English Test Is Shelved

Article excerpt

CABBIES have accused council bosses of "bottling it" after they failed to introduce a basic English test for new drivers.

The proposal to introduce a basic literacy test for Durham cabbies received overwhelming support from those working in the trade and members of the public who responded to a council con sultation last year.

More than three quarters of people who responded to the consultation agreed that new taxi licensing applicants should undergo basic literacy testing.

However, in a revised taxi licensing policy, which was rub ber stamped by councillors on April 13, the idea had been dropped.

Drivers will have to take a basic numeracy test along with a coun cil locality and knowledge test, but there was no suggestion driv ers would be examined on their English.

A statement at the opening of the new policy reads: "In assess ing the consultation responses and formulating a draft revision, efforts have been made to bal ance the needs and wants of the trade against the requirements of the legislation, available good practice and the necessity to safe guard the public, especially those who use taxis, including users who may be vulnerable. …

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