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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:00 am 
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Testing times for Perth taxi drivers with plans for new knowledge quiz

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/lo ... edge-quiz/

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Image: The Courier/DC Thomson

Taxi drivers could be forced to take a tough quiz on local landmarks and street names before being allowed to work in Perth and Kinross.

A new knowledge test is being considered by the region’s licensing chiefs, The Courier can reveal.

Drivers who want to work in the area – an Uber-free zone – will have to score at least 85% on a 60-question test, under the proposal.

They will be expected to learn the names of thousands of streets off by heart and correctly identify the most direct routes to and from certain locations.

The exam will be initially aimed at new driver, but could be extended to those looking to renew their licence.

Members of the licensing committee will be asked to approve the plan when they meet in the new year.

Licensing manager Debra Merchant said the quiz will be broken into the several sections, with questions on public buildings, landmarks, street names and routes.

There will also be questions about licence conditions and highway code knowledge, as well as “arithmetical and general” queries.

Ms Merchant suggests that applicants would need at least 51 correct answers to pass.

“It is proposed that the applicant be given three attempts to pass the test,” she said. “If an applicant does not pass after three attempts, the application would be deemed as being voluntarily withdrawn and no refund will be given.”

Applicants will not get a refund if they simply fail to take the test after three appointments, she said.

“The test would take the form of multiple-choice questions and answers for four parts, and written answers for two parts of the test,” Ms Merchant said.

“It is anticipated that it will be introduced for new applications only at this time. This will allow the licensing manager to monitor staff time and resources required to undertake the knowledge test, as the licensing team will administer the test.”

Other authorities in the UK already insist on knowledge tests, with additional fees for drivers of between £10 and £30.

In May, Highland Council ruled that its pass mark of 85% was “unnecessarily high”, particularly given that most vehicles are fitted with satellite navigation systems.

After consultation with local firms, the council agreed to reduce the pass mark to 75%.

The Knowledge Test is well established in London, where budding black cab drivers are expected to memorise 320 routes and 25,000 streets.

But there have been calls to scrap the exam, claiming it acts as an “archaic” barrier to employment.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:55 pm 
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Taxi drivers could be forced to take a tough quiz on local landmarks and street names before being allowed to work in Perth and Kinross.

Taxi drivers actually knowing where they are going? Whatever next?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:05 pm 
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Tough tests for taxi drivers hitting home

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/loca ... g-21545599

PKC has stepped up the criteria for licence holders

Councillors have stepped up measures to ensure new Perth and Kinross taxi drivers know exactly where they are going and the rules of the road.

PKC’s licensing committee convener believes taxi drivers have a vital part to play in representing Perth as first impressions count.

Last year a test was introduced to help ensure a high standard for all new applications.

In January 2019, a report was submitted and approved by the licensing committee which resulted in the introduction of the taxi/private hire car driver knowledge test.

The committee agreed to introduce the test for both renewals and new applications but agreed it would be introduced for new applications only initially.

This was to allow the licensing manager to monitor staff time and resources required to undertake the knowledge test.

On Thursday (February 20) the committee approved a motion that any licence holder brought before the committee then take part or all of the test dependent on their reasons for being brought before the committee.

The taxi/private hire driver’s knowledge test comprises 60 questions divided into six sections with questions relating to public buildings and local landmarks; street names; routes; knowledge of the Highway Code; the conditions of the licence, and arithmetical and general questions.

Applicants need to answer 51 questions correctly to pass but if a driver scores between 45 and 51, rather than resit the entire test they are given the chance to resit the parts where they failed to achieve the required score. After three failed attempts the application is deemed to be voluntarily withdrawn and no refund is given.

Since the test was launched, PKC has received 62 applications with 85 per cent passing so far. Out of the 62 applications, 23 passed first time, 17 second time, 12 are awaiting resits and eight have voluntarily withdrawn after either not turning up or failing their third attempt.

After the meeting, convener, Cllr Chris Ahern, said: “We do not wish to deter people from being a driver but often a visitor’s first impression of Perth is a taxi driver.”


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:02 pm 
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Well done to the council for at least trying to make things better.

If drivers really want to join our trade, they will meet the required criteria.

If the higher standards puts a few 'fly by nights' off, then so be it.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:51 am 
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Not much different in this alternative article, but you would think the first time pass rate for drivers reapplying (50%) would be a bit higher as compared to new applicants (37%).

To be fair, though, three out of the six reapplying who passed first time isn't maybe a big enough number to draw concrete conclusions from.

And some of the six may never have actually used their original badge, for whatever reason, or barely used it, so maybe in no better a position to pass the test than new applicants.


Taxi drivers won’t need to pass Knowledge quiz to keep working in Perth and Kinross

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/lo ... d-kinross/

Taxi drivers looking to renew their licences will not need to prove they have “the knowledge” to keep working in Perth and Kinross.

The tough new test for cabbies was introduced by the local council last year.

Under the scheme, all new drivers are quizzed under exam-like conditions on street names, landmarks and short cuts.

Licensing chiefs have agreed to extend the scheme but have stopped short of insisting all current drivers will have to pass the test when their licence comes up for renewal.

As well as budding cabbies, it was agreed any driver who comes before the licensing committee, for any reason, can also be quizzed.

The committee heard that out of six drivers who had to apply for new licenses, after failing to renew their old ones, only three passed first time.

Convener Chris Ahern said: “It shows we have got drivers out there who aren’t particularly au fait with the regulations or the requirements for taxi drivers.

“We don’t wish to deter people from being a driver, but often a visitor’s first impression of Perth is a taxi driver and they have to know their stuff.”

The committee heard it would be too time consuming for staff to extend the quiz to all drivers.

Of the 62 new applications received, 23 passed first time and 17 on the second go. 12 were invited to take re-sits and eight withdrew or failed.

Perth and Kinross is still an Uber-free zone.

Mr Ahern said: “I proposed that we allow provision for the option of making a license holder take part or all of the taxi driver test, dependent of course on he reasons that they have been put before the committee.

“Should they subsequently fail the test, the driver will have the opportunity to resit. But should they fail the resit, they will be required to be placed back before the committee to determine their suitability to retain their licence.”

The pass mark is 51 and questions are along the lines of: What area of Perth is Canal Street in? Or how do you get from George Street from the train station?

Candidates are also asked basic maths questions to show they know how much change to hand over, and are quizzed on the Highway Code.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:53 pm 
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Taxi drivers in Perth and Kinross can sit test after restrictions relax

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/loca ... n-23528614

A new standards test for taxi drivers operating in Perth and Kinross will resume when drivers are allowed back in the council building in person.

Perth and Kinross councillors have agreed to let taxi drivers in Perthshire sit their knowledge test as soon as restrictions are lifted.

In 2017 PKC’s licensing committee approved the introduction of the taxi/private hire car driver knowledge test.

But since March 2020 - due to the pandemic - it has not been possible for drivers to sit this test as it involves attending the council office in person.

In June 2020 - unaware of how long the pandemic would last - councillors agreed to allow taxi drivers up to nine months to sit the test.

PKC’s licensing manager Debra Gilkison told PKC’s licensing committee on Thursday, February 18 there were currently 23 drivers waiting to sit the test.

In normal circumstances this would be done in a matter of two or three sessions with up to about 12 sitting the test at a time.

Officers asked the committee if a more flexible arrangement could be found allowing the test to be resumed whenever it is safe to do so rather than having to keep extending the deadline.

The licensing committee unanimously agreed to this.

The taxi/private hire driver’s knowledge test comprises 60 questions divided into six sections with questions relating to public buildings and local landmarks; street names; routes; knowledge of the Highway Code; the conditions of the licence, and arithmetical and general questions.

Applicants need to answer 51 questions correctly to pass but if a driver scores between 45 and 51, they are given the chance to resit the parts where they failed to achieve the required score. After three failed attempts the application is deemed to be voluntarily withdrawn.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:59 pm 
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Perth and Kinross councillors have agreed to let taxi drivers in Perthshire sit their knowledge test as soon as restrictions are lifted.

Makes it sound like they're doing drivers a big favour rather than just applying some common sense [-(


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