Knowledge test for Chichester taxi drivers approved

Private hire vehicles licensed with Chichester District Council. SUS-160518-130815001
Private hire vehicles licensed with Chichester District Council. SUS-160518-130815001

A knowledge test for private hire drivers is set to be introduced for Chichester, with sections for literacy and driving competency.

Chichester District Council licensing committee voted in favour of creating the test last month to boost the standard needed for a private hire licence.

Taxi firm owners have raised concerns that the test could stop people applying for jobs due to the added cost and longer timescale of the application process, but some drivers consulted backed the move.

David Harwood, a private hire driver of 11 years, said he thought the test was a good idea.

He said: “We’re public servants, we’ve got to be good at it.

“I think it’s been a bit lax over the years and it’s been easier to get a private hire licence in Chichester than in Worthing or Portsmouth.”

The test will only affect those applying as a new driver or lapsed licence holder and will include a specific driving test and a taxi or private hire law exam as well as navigational know-how.

Council officers have still to work out the exact contents and set up of the test, which is likely to cost £41 and be partly online.

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