'Nonsensical' sat-nav ban for Bath taxi drivers rejected

The council in Bath said drivers should know where they are going

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A "nonsensical" proposal to ban Bath taxi drivers from using sat-navs for local journeys has been thrown out.

The Liberal Democrat-run Bath and North East Somerset Council had argued that drivers have to pass a knowledge test and should know where they are going.

The National Taxi Association objected warning it could prove more dangerous if drivers had to use their sat-nav devices surreptitiously.

Councillors on the licensing committee voted six to two against the ban.

"This is a real victory for common sense," said Conservative councillor Anthony Clarke.

"An outright ban on the use of sat-navs is simply unworkable and nonsensical.

'Draconian restrictions'

"A sat-nav can prove useful if the driver is taking a passenger to a less familiar part of the authority, if only the postcode of the destination is provided, or there is an unexpected traffic obstruction."

The ruling Liberal Democrat group proposed the idea along with the local Taxi Drivers' Association to "improve standards".

Councillors also said taxi inspections in the area had shown sat-navs placed on windscreens were obscuring vision.

But Mr Clarke said it was "nonsensical" that taxi drivers would be allowed to have a sat-nav in the cab, but not use it.

"Instead of such draconian and unenforceable restrictions, the best way to maintain and raise standards is to continue to strengthen the test of local knowledge which taxi drivers take before becoming licensed."

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