Thirty-four complaints about taxi and private hire drivers in Eastbourne have been “robustly” investigated by the council in the last 12 months, according to latest figures released.
The statistics come amid a rise in complaints about some drivers not having a basic knowledge of Eastbourne and having to use sat navs to find destinations and photographic identity badges not being displayed inside licensed vehicles.
A spokesperson at Eastbourne Borough Council said there are more than 500 licensed drivers in the town and that all had passed a test as part of the licensing process.
“All taxi and private hire drivers in the borough of Eastbourne are required to pass a knowledge test before their licence is granted,” said the spokesperson.
“The test covers legislation relating to the use of a taxi or private hire vehicle, locations of various local landmarks, such as pubs, churches and schools, and the shortest route between two given locations.
“An 80 per cent pass mark is required.”
The spokesperson added, “In addition, all licensed drivers are required to wear a badge, issued by Eastbourne Borough Council, and this carries a photograph of the driver and badge number.
“All vehicles have an internal plate displayed which should be clearly legible to the person hiring the vehicle.
“Over the last 12 months the council has robustly investigated 34 complaints relating to licensed drivers.”
One recent complaint was that a Hackney Carriage driver who picked passengers up outside of the railway station forecourt did not know where either Motcombe or Old Town was. Other complaints include taxis and private hire vehicles being shared with unlicensed drivers and students being charged high fares.
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