Shropshire taxi drivers face stricter test

Taxi drivers in the county could face a more rigorous test in future under proposals being considered by Shropshire Council.

The plans include a more detailed knowledge of local areas and landmarks, such as theatres and hospitals.

The updated "knowledge" would affect both Hackney carriage and private hire drivers and would include a separate English test for the first time.

The plans go before the Strategic Licensing Committee on Wednesday.

Shropshire Council said the move was due to a "significant level of interest" from Hackney carriage drivers based outside the county.

It added that the updated test would improve public safety and would not cost significantly more to administer.

The current written test, taken in English, takes 45 minutes and includes a more basic understanding of local areas.

Applicants are also currently required to undergo a medical and criminal record check.

It said the new English test, taken on computer, would add £25 to the the cost of the test, which would be passed on to the applicant.

The council said a good knowledge of local areas was more important for black-cab drivers who often operate alone.

It acknowledged that private hire cabs were pre-booked and usually had a support operator back at base, who could advise on a route if required.

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