Do you use local taxis?

The council is seeking the views of people who use taxis as it reviews the rules around local taxis and taxi drivers.

At the moment, the rules in Rotherham mirror those in much of the country: vehicles must be safe and roadworthy, and drivers must show that they are “fit and proper” people to be transporting the public. Drivers who apply for a taxi licence are subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly a CRB, or Criminal Records Bureau check), and where that indicates previous convictions or police cautions, drivers must appear before the Licensing Committee to address any concerns that councillors may have before they can be granted a licence.

However, we are aware of some concerns that Rotherham’s taxis aren’t always up to the standard that people might hope. More seriously, the recent Jay Report into Child Sexual Exploitation made it clear that some of these offences have been linked to taxis.

So to improve standards and restore confidence that taxis are safe to use, we want to see the rules tightened up. The council has brought forward proposals that if implemented would give Rotherham some of the toughest rules anywhere in the country.

For example: should taxi drivers have to have a qualification in customer service? Should they be subject to a tougher “Knowledge” test of routes and locations, and a communications test to ensure they can communicate clearly in English? Should taxis over five years old be banned altogether? Should all taxis be fitted with CCTV? And if a driver is convicted of a criminal offence, how long should they be banned from driving a taxi?

If you use taxis, your views are important. To find out more, and make sure that your voice is heard, please click here.

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