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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:03 am 
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Well this perhaps confirms that the cross-border stuff raised by Mayor Anderson last week was a bit of a red herring, since this is about beefing up the Liverpool City Council knowledge.

And maybe last week's story intended to soften up public opinion so that this will be rubber-stamped?

Of course, the downside is that as things stand the new measures will to a degree simply encourage cross-border working.

By the way, seems that same knowledge test applies to both HCs and PHs in Liverpool, although that might be inferred from the article, but it's not actually stated.


Liverpool taxi drivers will need to pass new street 'knowledge' and basic English tests

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/li ... s-17052548

Huge shake up as drivers will be made to pass a new 'street knowledge' test

New measures will see Liverpool taxi drivers made to pass a new 'street knowledge' test - as well as examinations in conversational English and numeracy.

The bold new plan is expected to be signed off at a meeting of the council's licensing committee tomorrow - and comes as the authority ramps up its moves to improve the licensed trade in Liverpool.

Last week, Mayor Joe Anderson said he wanted action after a taxi driver did not know how to get take him the short distance from Edge Lane to his home in Old Swan.

Under the new review of driver training - which has been out for consultation over the summer - there will be new tests in city knowledge, basic English and numeracy, amongst other things.

Street knowledge test

The new proposals for driver training have been recommended by the council's city manager.

The most striking concerns the administering of the 'street knowledge' test taken by drivers.

Currently, the testing is outsourced to a private company - but the council plans to now bring this in house.

If approved, there will be a fee charged to applicants for the street knowledge test.

The fee proposed is £65.00. After two failed tests, a further resit fee of £30.00 will be charged to the applicant. This resit fee will cover another 3 attempts at the test.

The council report states: "The requirement for licensed drivers to pass the Street Knowledge test is a crucial part of ensuring drivers licensed by the City Council have the necessary topographical knowledge and basic skills to work efficiently in the streets of Liverpool.

"To absolutely ensure this Test is delivered, invigilated and marked in a way which is 100% to the satisfaction of the City Council in terms of integrity, it is proposed that the City Council’s officers resume responsibility for the administration of the Test."

Maths and English skills

Another proposal that is expected to be given the green light at tomorrow's licensing meeting concerns a new 'essential skills' test for prospective drivers.

The proposed test will include additional numerical and English tests.

The report states: "There is currently no external process by training providers generically to assess the standard of an applicant’s numeracy and English language prior to the issue of a licence.

"The ability of a driver to properly calculate change to be given to a customer and converse with them on a basic level is as important as having a reasonable degree of knowledge of the City streets, landmarks and neighbourhoods.

"These are all matters which often give rise to complaints from the public."

"It is therefore proposed that, in order to ensure a uniform standard of English and Numeracy skills, during the street knowledge test a basic assessment will be carried out.

"This would include a section involving basic conversational English. The test will seek to ensure a candidate has a fundamental ability to answer simple questions, write receipts and calculate problems around change given to the customer."

Other proposals

As well as the above new testing plans - there are some other areas around driver training that form part of the new measures expected to get the green light tomorrow.

This will include adding new modules to the standard driver training - including those related to customers with wheelchairs, autism and age related issues like Dementia and Alzheimer's.

The new training package will also include a refresher on issues relating to Child Sexual Exploitation - which will be refreshed as part of the licence renewal process.

Joe Anderson

Speaking about the new plans, Mayor Anderson said: "The knowledge test has been privatised before - to get it done more quickly and to save money.

"But we just find that we are getting to a situation where there are a lot of people getting a license without having any understanding of the city.

"I had that incident where the guy couldn't take me to Old Swan from Edge Lane - a good friend of mine got a cab the other day and the driver didn't know how to get her to the Anglican Cathedral.

"If there are visitors coming to the city they can potentially be ripped off or just have a bad experience so we think these new measures are something we need to do."


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:33 pm 
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C'mon Trevor your the man with his finger on the pulse of the trade oop there whats the backstory ?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:55 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
C'mon Trevor your the man with his finger on the pulse of the trade oop there whats the backstory ?


Had a quick look at the comments earlier, and one claimed that if applicants said they were going to work for a certain HC fleet they were effectively guaranteed a pass :shock:

But who knows the truth - however, something must be amiss if they're having to take it back in-house, and the official spiel often won't disclose the full facts in the interests of damage limitation :-$


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:57 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
edders23 wrote:
C'mon Trevor your the man with his finger on the pulse of the trade oop there whats the backstory ?


Had a quick look at the comments earlier, and one claimed that if applicants said they were going to work for a certain HC fleet they were effectively guaranteed a pass :shock:

But who knows the truth - however, something must be amiss if they're having to take it back in-house, and the official spiel often won't disclose the full facts in the interests of damage limitation :-$



BUT Mr T WILL know it's just a case of whether or not he will tell :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:33 pm 
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I feel that councils need to ignore the cross border issue when deciding on what licensing criteria they adopt.

Else it will be a case of standards spiraling downwards in a desperate rush to license as many drivers as they can, as quick as they can.

The disgraceful council at Wolverhampton being a prime example.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:55 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
I feel that councils need to ignore the cross border issue when deciding on what licensing criteria they adopt.

Else it will be a case of standards spiraling downwards in a desperate rush to license as many drivers as they can, as quick as they can.

The disgraceful council at Wolverhampton being a prime example.



Another example is the one who set it all off the now defunct Berwick Council who was taken over by the not much better Northumberland County Council as the unitary Authority.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:10 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
StuartW wrote:
edders23 wrote:
C'mon Trevor your the man with his finger on the pulse of the trade oop there whats the backstory ?


Had a quick look at the comments earlier, and one claimed that if applicants said they were going to work for a certain HC fleet they were effectively guaranteed a pass :shock:

But who knows the truth - however, something must be amiss if they're having to take it back in-house, and the official spiel often won't disclose the full facts in the interests of damage limitation :-$



BUT Mr T WILL know it's just a case of whether or not he will tell :wink:

The truth is the Lord Mayor got into a Liverpool hackney and wanted to travel half a mile down the road (a straight road) and the driver couldn't speak English and didn't know where to go, so the knowledge test is going back in-house and he will be keeping a check on the licencing dept. Not the first time this has happened.
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/newslive ... ar-AAId84x

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:16 pm 
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and wanted to travel half a mile down the road (a straight road) and the driver couldn't speak English and didn't know where to go, so the knowledge test is going back in-house and he will be keeping a check on the licencing dept


Unbelievable :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:39 am 
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Taxi driver beaten up and racially abused in Liverpool

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/li ... y-17039792

The grim revelations came to light again this morning

Liverpool taxi drivers will be subject to more language assessments after reports of drivers being racially abused and even beaten up because customers don't think they speak good enough English.

The move by the council's licensing committee to add a further literacy assessment came amid a raft of other measures to strengthen the city's hand in improving taxi standards.

The so-called 'knowledge' test, which measures a driver's knowledge of the city's geography, will also come under the control of the council after members of the city's licensing committee gave the go-ahead to the plans this morning.

Committee chair Christine Banks said members had been pushing for changes to the way literacy was assessed for eight years after continued reports of problems for both customers and drivers.

Councillor Banks said: "We have had a number of reports of drivers who have been racially abused because they don't speak English.

"It is a matter of safety and as well as the public feeling safe we need to make sure that the drivers feel safe.

"We had a report to us from the police of a driver being beaten up because he didn't speak English."

Taxi drivers do currently go through English assessments with external training providers but councillors have long said that there are still issues with some not being able to speak English well enough to communicate adequately with customers.

The decision to bring the knowledge test back in house comes almost a week after mayor Joe Anderson complained that he got in a taxi not far from his home in Old Swan only to be told by the taxi driver that he didn't know where Old Swan was .

After the mayor's comments were reported in the ECHO, people from across the city shared similar issues that they had faced with some taxi drivers.

As well as the decision to give the local authority more control over the testing process, councillors also approved a plan to allow the council's licensing officers more rights to inspect licensed taxis from neighbouring Sefton and Knowsley.

Taxi drivers in the city have long complained that drivers from other areas can more easily flout rules designed to protect customers because Liverpool council staff can't assess them.

And a report recommending the changes approved today argues that the council is currently 'severely limited' in how it can tackle violations by out of borough taxi drivers.

The agreement between the three boroughs has already been approved by Sefton and is expected to come fully into force if Knowsley's councillors approve it later this year.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:49 am 
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Whilst i agree language skills are important that doesn't entitle you to..........................

Quote:
Liverpool taxi drivers will be subject to more language assessments after reports of drivers being racially abused and even beaten up because customers don't think they speak good enough English.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:37 pm 
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Liverpool taxi drivers will be subject to more language assessments after reports of drivers being racially abused and even beaten up because customers don't think they speak good enough English.

Shocking comments, akin to a justification for violence against taxi/PH drivers who struggle with the English language. [-X

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:15 am 
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Yes, looked very odd that, particularly in these PC days, and kind of makes it sound like it's the drivers' fault.

They should at least have downplayed that angle, and just said it would prevent communication problems and disputes arising, etc.


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