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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 6:52 am 
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Glasgow taxi drivers to be tested on English and knowledge of city after complaints

https://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/176 ... omplaints/

Cab drivers across Glasgow will be tested on their English and knowledge of the city amongst tough new measures proposed to tackle a shocking rise in passenger complaints.

Members of Glasgow City Council’s licensing committee are expected to introduce a policy, as suggested by Unite – Glasgow Cab Section, which means taxis and private hire car drivers will need to complete an SQA qualification before they can take passengers.

Figures have also revealed the number of complaints made against cab companies in the city had more than doubled in five years. Between 2014 and 2018 the number of incidents rose from 430 to 1038.

The number of private hire car drivers has also increased.

The move will make Glasgow the second local authority in Scotland after Dundee to introduce the testing.

In February Konstantinos Theodoropoulos was denied a cab licence because he couldn’t identify the City Chambers despite being inside the building opposite.

The council’s licensing committee deals with complaints of pirating, cherry-picking hires and over-charging fares. Drivers have also refused to assist wheelchair users or carry guide dogs.

A report submitted to the council reveals that the course would cost between £300-£400 per driver.

While it is hoped the level of customer service will be improved concerns have been raised by some representatives that the time to complete the course could be “detrimental” and impact the number of people willing to enter the trade.

Alex Wilson, chairman of the licensing board, said: “We are hoping the qualification will raise the standards of our drivers. It is going to replace the existing customer care course which is really outdated.

“The qualification will include a language test and suitable ways to help passengers with disabilities and mental health problems. There is already a code of conduct in place for taxi drivers but this new policy will include private hires.

“It will be mandatory for every new driver to complete. Existing drivers will have to complete it before they renew their licence. Applicants will have to know where key locations are – including the City Chambers.”

Calum Anderson of the Glasgow Cab Section said he was happy that the council had “embraced” the union’s idea. He added: “The standards of private hire car drivers and taxi services are going down. It is ridiculous taxis and cab drivers can gain a licence without a qualification or any training. If someone is required to do training, it means they will take time and effort to achieve their qualification.

“I am hoping it will deter anyone from coming into the profession for just a casual exercise. ”

The course will start in January.

How will the test work?

The new SQA qualification will replace the existing customer care course which is considered no longer fit for purpose.

A programme was created by the SQA in October 2018 to help taxi and private hire car drivers adapt to the challenges they face on a daily basis.

This certificate in Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver at SCQF level 5 has nine mandatory units.

They are: workplace health and safety, safety transport passengers, professional customer service, maintain the safety of the licensed vehicle, mobility and wheelchair assistance, plan routes and fares, transport luggage and parcels, safely transport school age children and the licensing regulations (Scotland).

From January 1, 2020 all applicants will require to have completed the training prior to submitting their application.

Existing licence holders whose licence needs to be renewed from April 1, 2020 will require to complete their training before renewing their licence.


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 6:56 am 
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Quote:
In February Konstantinos Theodoropoulos was denied a cab licence because he couldn’t identify the City Chambers despite being inside the building opposite.

And he couldn't spell his name correctly either :lol:

Quote:
While it is hoped the level of customer service will be improved concerns have been raised by some representatives that the time to complete the course could be “detrimental” and impact the number of people willing to enter the trade.

So apparently the HC sector is on its knees, PHV numbers have just been capped, yet some are worried this test will mean less people willing to enter the trade? :-s

I'll leave Sussex to fill in the blanks. Again. S_____s


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 5:53 pm 
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In February Konstantinos Theodoropoulos was denied a cab licence because he couldn’t identify the City Chambers despite being inside the building opposite.

:D

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 6:12 pm 
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“It will be mandatory for every new driver to complete. Existing drivers will have to complete it before they renew their licence. Applicants will have to know where key locations are – including the City Chambers.”


Quote:
A report submitted to the council reveals that the course would cost between £300-£400 per driver.

That's going to make some people very rich.

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 6:17 pm 
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So apparently the HC sector is on its knees, PHV numbers have just been capped, yet some are worried this test will mean less people willing to enter the trade? :-s

Since when has the trade made sense?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:51 am 
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Not sure if this piece fully makes clear the conflicting interests between Uber and its drivers - it seems to treat the two as singing from the same hymn sheet.

Anyway, can understand Uber being miffed by the new exam and consequently fewer drivers coming through, but not so sure about the drivers - who knows, they could end up better off if the new qualification means fewer drivers and thus higher earnings.


Uber drivers say SQA exam costs too much for low earners

https://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/176 ... w-earners/

GLASGOW Uber drivers fear proposals for cab drivers to sit an SQA English test will cost too much for low earners.

The Independent Worker’s Union Great Britain (IWGB) says the cost of the qualification, which will be between £300 and £400 for both taxi and private hire car operators, is too high.

Sources say this could prevent people entering the trade and put the public at risk, resulting in more passengers taking lifts from unlicensed vehicles.

Glasgow’s licensing committee this week approved plans to introduce a policy that means new drivers and those renewing their licence will need to complete an SQA qualification before they can take passengers.

Drivers will also be tested on their knowledge of the city in an attempt to tackle the rise in passenger complaints, which have more than doubled in the last five years.

Despite agreeing the council needs to introduce private hire training to improve the safety of passengers and
drivers, Uber claim these tests could prevent drivers from applying for a licence.

Chris Dames, the chairman of the Glasgow group of the United Private Hire Drivers, a branch of the IWGB, said: “We are pleased the council is ensuring passenger safety with the new qualifications but the cost to the drivers is far too high.

“Many of our members invested in cars on the promise of income that never materialised. The council and operators should help the low-paid and find the money to help drivers.”

Sources say the company believes regulation should be put in place should be proportionate but not as strict.

It claims extreme rules could be counter-productive for passengers who may end up taking a lift home from unlicensed vehicles, walking home or drink-driving – endangering themselves and others.

The company thinks further consultation on the training course should take place.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:07 pm 
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Sources say this could prevent people entering the trade and put the public at risk, resulting in more passengers taking lifts from unlicensed vehicles.

Aren't both taxis and PHVs number restricted anyway?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:09 pm 
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Chris Dames, the chairman of the Glasgow group of the United Private Hire Drivers, a branch of the IWGB, said: “We are pleased the council is ensuring passenger safety with the new qualifications but the cost to the drivers is far too high.

Not if it stops new entrants. Will be money well spent.

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