Northamptonshire taxi drivers to take English and maths tests

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New taxi drivers in a Northamptonshire town will have to pass tests in English and maths, a council has ruled.

The Borough Council of Wellingborough's Community Committee approved the new rules at a meeting earlier.

The new measures are intended to improve standards and make it safer for passengers.

Barry Liffen, chairman of the Wellingborough Hackney Carriage Association, said the group welcomed the changes.

"I have come here to thank the council for listening," he said.

"There is a focus on the English and maths tests, which I think is fair.

"It should be easy enough for drivers to pass those tests, but a lot of the other aspects of the proposals will help."

Medical examinations

Under the new rules, drivers already licensed could have to take an advanced driving test if they are the subject of complaints or have an accident that was their fault.

But this would only be if there was "sufficient evidence" to raise concerns over their standard of driving, the committee decided.

The council had initially proposed, based on recommendations of best practice by Department of Transport, that drivers have their medical examinations with their own GPs.

But taxi drivers requested that this be relaxed so that they could have their medical examination with a GP that charges less.

"Some GPs charge £100 - £150 for a medical but there is one that charges £40, which is a big difference," Mr Liffen said.

The new policy will come into force from April.

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