Taxi safety: Shropshire firm wins council taxi safety contract
A Shropshire firm has won a contract with Telford & Wrekin Council to improve the performance and safety of local taxi and private hire drivers.
The TTC Group will take over the delivery of the knowledge and driving standards tests that are required in order to become a taxi or private hire driver in the borough.
A dedicated call centre will be in place to take bookings and payments, speeding up the process, so potential taxi drivers can be trained and put through their paces for their badges quicker.
“The overriding reason behind our new partnership with TTC is ensuring the safety of local people when using taxis and private hire vehicles,” said Carl Phillips, Commercial Manager – Public Protection at Telford & Wrekin Council.
“Every person will receive over an hour of training with an experienced road safety expert before sitting a knowledge test based on what it means to be a taxi driver and the behaviour expected of them. Applicants then undertake a driving-standards test, which is a one-hour practical examination on the road.”
The first tests took place earlier this month at TTC Group’s headquarters in Telford.
A number of road safety experts have been trained to oversee the tests and to explore some of the challenges/scenarios facing taxi drivers, including the rules and regulations of holding a taxi badge, how to report collisions and dealing with children, ensuring they arrive safely at the intended address.
There will also be guidance on supporting individuals in the role and how they should deal with certain situations that could see allegations made against them.
In February, the Department for Transport launched a consultation on tougher licensing guidelines, which include the option of installing CCTV in every taxi and private hire vehicle.
Under the proposed new guidelines, every taxi and private hire driver will have to undergo enhanced criminal record and background checks.
Andy Wheeler, Business Development Director at TTC Group, added: “We have a proven track record in improving driving safety and behaviour and this latest contract will tap into our expertise and systems to help Telford & Wrekin Council ensure every taxi and private hire driver on local roads has gone through the right knowledge and practical driving tests.
“Hopefully, the individuals looking to secure their ‘badges’ will also benefit from the new approach and the advice and guidance we can offer. Education can play a crucial role in improving the safety of our roads.”
With employees who drive for business more likely to be killed at work than deep sea divers or coal miners, driver safety is a vital business consideration.
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