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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:40 am 
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This article goes round the houses a bit, but it just seems to be about the council not accepting substitutions at the moment because the garage is closed. The standard tests have just been extended for cars already plated, so for the vast majority there's no real issue, but the article makes it sound like it's a wider problem with testing.


Dundee cabbie calls for urgent taxi test review after drivers lose wages

https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/d ... ose-wages/

A Dundee taxi driver has called for rules to be changed to allow cash-strapped cabbies back on the road.

Taxi tests can only be carried out at Dundee City Council’s garage but, due to it being closed during lockdown, Chris Elder, Dundee taxi representative at Unite, says many drivers are losing income.

One driver from Tele Taxis said he lost £5,500 in wages because his new car has not been tested yet.

Chris said: “I feel we should be able to go to any garage we want rather than just the council one.

“All garages have the same standards, the only things that are different in the taxi test is checking the paintwork, the taxi meter and the roof sign.

“Taxis need checked regularly because they do more miles than an ordinary car.

“We have no option but to go to the council garage, which we think is wrong – going elsewhere would benefit taxi drivers and it would give the garages in the city more work.”

An MOT and taxi test is often done at the same time at the council-run garage, but staff there can’t always do the necessary fixes, meaning the cabbies have to take them to other mechanics and then go and re-sit the test.

Chris said the MOT and taxi test costs around £90 and a further £18 for a retest, and booking a retest can take a few days, leaving taxi drivers without a wage.

“It is a major problem for us and lockdown has highlighted that – one guy phoned me to say he had been off the road for three and a half months because he is waiting for the garage to open.

“But this is a money-making thing for the council, so for the time being we are stuck.”

A spokesman for Dundee City Council said tests carried out at council-run garages ensured fairness and impartiality.

He added: “All taxis operating at the start of lockdown had their test dates extended by six months.

“If a replacement vehicle was in use as a taxi at the start of lockdown, then it could be used because the licensing committee allowed the test certificate for any taxi to be transferred to a new owner for the period left on the certificate.

“Replacement vehicles which were not in use as taxis at the start of the lockdown which did not have a current certificate at that time would not be able to take advantage of this.”


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:40 am 
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As I recall it, here in Fife the council only accepting 'business critical' substitutions. Not sure what that means, precisely, and haven't heard of any problems, but I'm assuming it would cover the likes of accident write-offs rather than someone just wanting a shiny new motor.

But not clear what's happened to this guy in Dundee. Maybe he was just in the process of putting a new motor on when everything shut down, so he's left in limbo :?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:24 am 
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I wonder where he was going to earn this £5,500 during the lockdown? Could he have claimed 80% of the loss through the self employed scheme?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:17 pm 
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That is assuming that he wasn't new to the trade ?

Shops, Pubs and almost every business and even swimming pools are open BUT councils are refusing to open offices and other premises. Is it me or are councils deliberately going out of their way to make life difficult.

I would also query the need for council testing stations as most reputable MOT garages can adapt very easily to doing the tests. We have to pay the garages separately for our tests so costs our council nothing to test vehicles other than a bit of admin and the occasional phone call.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:25 pm 
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I suspect the kerfuffle is over replacement vehicles, be they newly licensed vehicles or accident/claims spare vehicles.

The fact the council hasn't got a process to license these, even during this crisis, is crazy and I can understand why some drivers have got the right hump.

That said I suspect drivers could jockey another car if they needed to. I mean there is no shortage of cars at the mo.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:03 pm 
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grandad wrote:
I wonder where he was going to earn this £5,500 during the lockdown? Could he have claimed 80% of the loss through the self employed scheme?

Did wonder about the figures quoted.

But it works out at something like £350 per week, and if by 'wages' he means 'takings', then maybe that's the kind of money the office's cars have been making during lockdown. And, of course, these things tend to be exaggerated, so maybe that's the top line of what the cars have been making, maybe entailing 80 hours per week or more.

But it's also not clear if the guy who lost £5,500 is the same one who's been waiting three-and-a-half months, or if they're different people.

And three-and-a-half months seems an odd time to be waiting if he was changing cars at lockdown. He'd have been waiting longer than that by now? But, again, it's not clear if he's been waiting that length of time now, or if that was the length of time when he phoned the union rep, which could have been some time ago.

But if he did buy a new car in mid-April, then presumably that would have been due to an accident, or maybe some sort of catastrophic engine failure or other mechanical issue which meant the car wasn't worth repairing.

But, as is so often the case, probably best not to over-analyse reports like this, because there's always questionable stuff in them. As I said earlier, the article could have better focussed on the real issue of replacements/substitutions rather than going off on a tangent about the testing process, fees etc more generally.

But, as Sussex says, there should have been procedures in place to deal with essential replacements, as we seem to have in Fife.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:05 pm 
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Edders wrote:
Is it me or are councils deliberately going out of their way to make life difficult.

Simples. Why take the risk of contracting Covid (even if risk to health tiny) if you can work from home and draw your salary anyway?

It's been obvious from the kick off that things would have been done a lot differently if all this stuff had been decided by people whose income depended on rolling up to work, rather than academics and public sector types whose salary and pensions are guaranteed and gold-plated.

Personally a bit fed up of those public sector types on six-figure salaries etc who treat anyone critical of lockdown as some kind of ogre.

I'm sure most of us would be happy to sit at home indefinitely if income was guaranteed. But that isn't going to happen.


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