Eastbourne taxi drivers could be made to pass new tests, including disability awareness, as part of new guidance proposed for cabbies in town.
Eastbourne Borough Council has launched a public consultation which would require anyone wanting to be a taxi driver to apply to the council for a licence and pass certain tests.
The planned new guidance would introduce four objectives: the safety and welfare of the public; to encourage environmental sustainability; ensuring efficient and effective taxi and private hire provision in Eastbourne; and monitoring and improving standards of service in the town.
In response to requests from residents, the council says the draft guidance also includes a particular emphasis on equality and accessibility. It is proposed all new Hackney Carriages (taxis) will only be licensed if they are wheelchair accessible.
Drivers will be required to attend training sessions on disability awareness and all applicants must pass the training before a licence can be issued.
Other changes to the new guidance include: incorporating awareness of child sexual exploitation and safeguarding into the knowledge test; vehicle engines being required to meet the European standards; and legislative changes in relation to the Right to Work.
Also, any person found cheating on knowledge tests will be disqualified from the test and not be granted a licence for at least three years. This is a change as there currently isn’t a disqualification period.
Residents, private hire and Hackney Carriage drivers, operators and other stakeholders can provide feedback to the plans online by visiting the council website or send comments in writing to Taxi Licensing, Eastbourne Borough Council, 1 Grove Road, Eastbourne, BN21 4TW.
This consultation runs from Tuesday, April 23 to Tuesday, June 18 at 5pm.
For more information visit lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/EBCtaxiconsultation
The consultation is available in alternative formats such as paper copy, a different language or large print on request.