Cumbria

Allerdale taxi drivers must pass test or have licence suspended

Section of a sample taxi driver knowledge test Image copyright Allerdale Borough Council
Image caption Taxi drivers have until the end of November to pass the test

A region's taxi drivers will have their licences suspended if they do not pass a knowledge test by the end of the month.

Of 303 drivers in Allerdale in Cumbria 238 have so far passed.

They had been given a year to take the test, with extra time added in the "interests of fairness" after a software glitch delayed the roll-out.

Allerdale Council has written to drivers and telephoned to remind them of the imminent deadline.

Licensing panel member Alan Smith: "If these people have been contacted then, when the letter comes, that is it finished with: they lose their licence.

"If we have been fair with them as a council they should be fair with us as well."

Image copyright Allerdale Borough Council
Image caption The deadline for passing the electronic test has been extended after software problems

Some drivers will not be taking the test because they are retiring, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

A consultation on the new scheme received 97 responses from members of the trade, of which 83 opposed it.

Many drivers objected on grounds of cost, having already paid to be licensed. Others argued for the test to apply to new drivers only.

Some said satellite navigation made the test unnecessary, although the council said it covered more than geographical knowledge.

Image copyright Allerdale Borough Council
Image caption The council said the test covered more than just geographical knowledge

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