Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Deregulation by Stealth: Sat Navs To Replace The Knowledge OnMerseyside.

In Dublin, the deregulation of its taxi system has directly led to 50 Taxi drivers committed suicide in the last 4 years. Dublin now has more Taxis than London.

The nightmare of trying to scrape a living in a chronically overcrowded industry and in the teeth of a recession is causing a range of psychological and physical problems. Strokes and heart attacks are also far too commonplace.

Dublin City Council has done little to improve the situation. The suicide rate is going to get worse before it gets better, that's for sure.

And So It Begins
Front page Liverpool Echo:

Merseyside taxi drivers may no longer face 'knowledge' test

Taxi drivers at some of Merseyside’s biggest firms may be allowed to carry passengers without taking the traditional “Knowledge” test.

Sefton council’s licensing committee will decide on Monday whether to keep or scrap the controversial Knowledge Test which all new taxi drivers in the borough must pass.

Bootle-based private hire firm Delta Taxis has put forward a proposal calling for the test to be scrapped, in light of recommendations made by the Law Commission.

Their report states that “private hire services should only be subject to national standards. Licensing authorities should no longer have the power to impose local conditions.”

Within its submission Delta Taxis said it believes the “current test is nothing more than a memory test and out of date” and that “computer aided and satellite navigation has totally transformed the industry since the knowledge test was introduced 22 years ago.”

The test, which is conducted by the council, involves new driver applicants having to answer 20 questions on local landmarks and licensing and driving rules, selected from a list of 60 questions, as well as six route questions selected from a list of 40 routes.

Paul McLaughlin, Delta company secretary, said: “In all honesty it is no more than a memory test, which has absolutely no bearing on a driver’s ability to navigate.

“You memorise the routes in advance and regurgitate them back onto a piece of paper. It is a tick-box exercise which has zero practical benefits for drivers or customers.”

Wayne Casey from South Sefton Hackney Carriage Drivers Association said he believed the ability to find places in a driver’s chosen working area is a reasonable expectation,

He said: “Failure to have or acquire this knowledge is to deny the fundamental function of hiring a vehicle and driver as a taxi.

“The tests were introduced many years ago by Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council and seem common sense now.”

He also said how an informed choice, based on local knowledge, is still needed when using a sat nav as they usually give a choice of routes.

Tommy McIntyre from Unite the Union’s taxi section said: “The proposals (by Delta Taxis) seem ludicrous to say the least, that modern technology can replace the in-depth knowledge both private hire and Hackney drivers should have to perform their duties to the travelling public’s expectation.”

In a statement he said he believed an in-depth knowledge was beneficial to the local community who expect a professional who knows where they are going.

He added: “Modern technology indeed is an asset to the Hackney and private hire driver, but is in no way a substitute for the driver’s base topographical knowledge.”


Anonymous said...

As said many times,men are coming to kill us .

Anonymous said...

Much of this is to make it easier for immigrants with bad english skills to get a license.

Anonymous said...

The nightmare of trying to scrape a living in a chronically overcrowded industry and in the teeth of a recession is causing a range of psychological and physical problems. Strokes and heart attacks are also far too commonplace.

that sound like being a yb thanks for all the support you gave us .As you lot watched our numbers go up then turned on us when people had to nick work up town to survive instead of trying to help shut the books.

Anonymous said...

Well said mukka. them green badges don't care about us starving. All there worried about is there own pockets and no one elses.

Sherlock said...

Anon 9.31 and Anon10.50 , what I cant understand is why you are still doing it. There are other options you know.

Anonymous said...

We face the greatest threat to our industry EVER!

Yet still the deputy general secretary of the LTDA sits on the TfL board and says............

Forget all the on in the house trade press, funny hoe this never gets mentioned?

Anonymous said...

Anons 9:31&10:50

As a yb for the last 15years who has made a good legal living without resorting to illegal activity, your complaints sound like a spoilt kid whinging that everyone else gets given the good stuff!!

You chose your area. You have not adapted to the job as it's changed....which happens in most jobs over time, but with the training you received and a little common sense and adaptability, every yellow badge could still earn a comfortable living.

The whole point of this post is that these drivers are being stripped of their livelyhood by the powers that be removing the necessity of any training and opening it to anyone.

You think your hard done by now.....wait till the law commission finishes with us!!!!

You'll probably blame that on lack of support from green badges too!!

In my experience, the drivers who bleat the loudest about being hard done by are the ones who have done the least to help themselves!!

That is soon to change....the men are coming!!

Anonymous said...

Brentwood essex the kol use to be 130 runs .but now it as been waterd down to a multi choice test .or should i say a multi guess test this to accomadate the local big taxi firm in brentwood.who are now have a recruitment drive in romania
They are also giving them driving lessons as they are not up to scratch the are recruting in romania as the cant get local people to work for £30 per day as the taxi firm keeps 70% of the days takings this firm also provide acommadation for these workers and not for free this is what is going on right now its modern day slavery .its a race to the bottom and it is driving the indipendant driver out of buisiness and this is going on in other towns as well peolpe being exploited...

Anonymous said...

when we first got our yellow badges we could all scratch a living so we all happily plodded around in our sectors but due to the greed of our licencees and the sheer silence of the greedy green badges our situaton got worse and worse hence creeping further in. Not out of choice.