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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:08 pm 
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Where to start with this ](*,)

For a kick off, not sure why the focus is on PHD applicants rather than taxi drivers as well - pretty sure it'll be mixed fleets in Falkirk (although I'm assuming that the use of the word 'taxi' in the article is in the informal rather than technical sense).


Emergency measures as Falkirk faces post-lockdown shortage of taxi drivers

https://www.falkirkherald.co.uk/news/pe ... rs-3003359

Emergency measures have been taken to speed up the taxi driver application process to deal with Falkirk’s serious shortage of cabbies.

At an online meeting of Falkirk Council’s executive on Tuesday, members agreed to put temporary measures in place in order to assist in the recruitment of more taxi drivers.

Members unanimously backed the policy and development panel recommendation to temporarily change policy to allow new Private Hire Car Driver applicants not to have to pass the Knowledge Test prior to the granting of their licence – with the condition they must pass the knowledge test within 12 months of the licence being granted.

They also agreed to temporarily waiving the application fee for a temporary private hire car driver licence where a full application has been simultaneously submitted.

Members heard many drivers had not returned to the trade following the coronavirus lockdown and there was currently a shortfall of around 55 taxis per day, which was having an adverse effect on school runs.

Councillor Robert Bissett said: “There are a lot of drivers who did not come back to the trade after lockdown and there is now a dearth of drivers. This is a temporary measure and it will allow people very quickly to become taxi drivers.”

Councillor Nigel Harris asked for reassurance the drivers would definitely sit their knowledge test in the near future.

Officers stated this was the case and added that no driver would be given a taxi licence without all the relevant police checks and Protecting Vulnerable Groups checks taking place.

According to the report there are approximately 30 taxis unable to operate at school peak times and some are required to double run and drop pupils off after 9am and pick them up before the end of the school day.

The report stated: “This has an impact on the individual pupils concerned. For many this may only be a short delay, but some children are losing about an hour of schooling per day.

“This tends to affect children with Additional Support Needs.”

Councillor Laura Murtagh said: “We need to do all we can to minimise any disruption to the education of our children.”

It was a plea from the taxi trade itself which led to the council making these emergency measures.

On September 24 the policy development panel, set up in 2018 to review taxi-related policies, discussed a request from a local taxi business to consider streamlining the application process for private hire car drivers.

The firm stated a large number of drivers had left the trade due to the coronavirus pandemic and this had adversely affected the ability of the taxi company to fulfil its school contracts.

The company said it considered having to pass the knowledge test during the application process was seen as a barrier to entry for new applicants who are put off by this and the length of time it takes to process an application.

It stated there should not be a requirement for private hire car driver applicants to sit a Knowledge Test as in vehicle Satellite Navigation technology is used to calculate the pre-booked journey in advance.

COVID-19 had placed some restrictions on the capacity of school taxis and Scottish Government guidelines state pupils should only sit in the rear seats.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:08 pm 
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Quote:
On September 24 the policy development panel, set up in 2018 to review taxi-related policies, discussed a request from a local taxi business to consider streamlining the application process for private hire car drivers.

The firm stated a large number of drivers had left the trade due to the coronavirus pandemic and this had adversely affected the ability of the taxi company to fulfil its school contracts.

The company said it considered having to pass the knowledge test during the application process was seen as a barrier to entry for new applicants who are put off by this and the length of time it takes to process an application.

It stated there should not be a requirement for private hire car driver applicants to sit a Knowledge Test as in vehicle Satellite Navigation technology is used to calculate the pre-booked journey in advance.

Ah, when I read the headline I thought it would be more about local firms trying to get more drivers on board rather than the school runs thing per se, so I wouldn't be surprised if the school thing is overdone.

But if new drivers are needed to deal with any problems with the school runs, they'll no doubt just be adding to the dearth of work being experienced by drivers at other times.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:20 pm 
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As I thought, the Falkirk Council area comprises 415 HC, but only 125 PH, so I'm guessing the offices are mainly HC, but with a minority PH contingent in the same fleets, but suspect there's no PH-only firms. So not sure why the emphasis in the article is about PH badges, although maybe it's just been misreported, as per...

Also interesting is this from a couple of months ago, when the council waived GP medicals for applications:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=36044&p=402898

But this from earlier in lockdown suggests Falkirk much the same as any other area - driver taking £30 per shift:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=35653&p=399634


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:21 pm 
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Any evidence from elsewhere about difficulties covering school runs because of driver shortages, Covid restrictions etc??


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:29 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Any evidence from elsewhere about difficulties covering school runs because of driver shortages, Covid restrictions etc??
Around here the County Council are having to bring vehicles from more than 20 miles away to cover school runs because there are not enough drivers who will do them. We have been trying to recruit new drivers for months but as soon as they find out that it could take about 3 months and £500 to get a badge they are not interested.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:54 pm 
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grandad wrote:
Around here the County Council are having to bring vehicles from more than 20 miles away to cover school runs because there are not enough drivers who will do them. We have been trying to recruit new drivers for months but as soon as they find out that it could take about 3 months and £500 to get a badge they are not interested.

Interesting. Certainly not a peep from the council here or the trade about any problems, although to be fair as far as my knowledge about that side of things is concerned, it might as well be Falkirk or Leics. Although I'm sure our council would be sending out letters and emails etc to the trade if there was a particular problem.

But I suppose Covid has just accentuated the problems associated with the trade's normal morning/afternoon logjam caused by the school runs - the number of drivers required to deal with that is even more disproportionate to the amount of drivers required the rest of the time :?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:46 pm 
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Quote:
Councillor Robert Bissett said: “There are a lot of drivers who did not come back to the trade after lockdown and there is now a dearth of drivers. This is a temporary measure and it will allow people very quickly to become taxi drivers.”

For f*** sake, the issue isn't the number of drivers not coming back to the trade, but the thousands of punters that aren't.

Clearly in Falkirk the councillors are that thick they believe the scaremongering from the operators.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:47 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Any evidence from elsewhere about difficulties covering school runs because of driver shortages, Covid restrictions etc??

No, because its a load of old fanny.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:17 am 
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Sussex wrote:
For f*** sake, the issue isn't the number of drivers not coming back to the trade, but the thousands of punters that aren't.

Clearly in Falkirk the councillors are that thick they believe the scaremongering from the operators.

Sussex wrote:
No, because its a load of old fanny.

And there was me trying to be diplomatic :badgrin: 8-[


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:09 am 
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StuartW wrote:
Sussex wrote:
For f*** sake, the issue isn't the number of drivers not coming back to the trade, but the thousands of punters that aren't.

Clearly in Falkirk the councillors are that thick they believe the scaremongering from the operators.

Sussex wrote:
No, because its a load of old fanny.

And there was me trying to be diplomatic :badgrin: 8-[

I must be imagining the cars from Leicester that are covering loads of the local school runs around here and The fact that there are hardly any cars on our local ranks and that we are having to turn work away due to lack of drivers.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:29 am 
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Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
We don't bother with school runs but 4 of my drivers have now got contracts via mates and there seems to be no shortage of work available although some of the prices are a bit cheap.

In one instance the company who has the contract are paying the driver doing it £5.00 more than the actual price! But it is a case of the community looking after other members of that community. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:41 am 
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edders23 wrote:
We don't bother with school runs but 4 of my drivers have now got contracts via mates and there seems to be no shortage of work available although some of the prices are a bit cheap.

In one instance the company who has the contract are paying the driver doing it £5.00 more than the actual price! But it is a case of the community looking after other members of that community. :wink:

There are some silly prices around being from some of the Leicester firms but we are probably one of the dearest in the area and we can't get drivers to cover all the enquiries that e are getting. We have managed to set 2 new drivers on in the past 3 months but we have had to pay for their badges up front. We lost a self employed driver around the same time but he is starting back next week as an employee.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:29 am 
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Location: Scotland
Sit down all, Its pointless driving taxis or private hire at the moment, the work is not there.
In the Borders, the Herriot Whatt, uni halls has 29 students instead of the 350 they normally have, due to the vast majority being foreign, and they cannot get here due to quarantine regs.
And with the pubs all closed , even the ones with small outside spaces, Galashiels , is a ghost town, with taking down 60 %
So its daytime trade only what little there is


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