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Bournemouth cabbies lose appeal against taking exam

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Bournemouth cabbies lose appeal against taking exam

Post by Aftab on Wed 21 Jan 2009 - 17:57

Bournemouth cabbies lose appeal against taking exam

TWO taxi drivers who went to court over Bournemouth council’s controversial policy that all cabbies need to pass an exam have lost their case.

The drivers had had their licences suspended by the council because they had failed to pass a Transporting Passengers by Taxi and Private Hire course within three years.

On Wednesday, they took their case to Bournemouth Magistrates Court but deputy district judge Mr Pattinson said he could not challenge or comment on the council policy.

He refused both appeals on the basis that the drivers had not obtained the necessary BTEC qualification and ordered them to pay 500 each towards the council’s legal costs.

Two other drivers, who had also had their licences suspended, had their appeals dismissed as they had since gone on and achieved the required qualification. They also had to pay 500 each towards the council’s legal costs.

Cllr Andrew Morgan, chair of the licensing board, said: “With more and more drivers working to gain their qualification, the council anticipates that all Bournemouth taxi and private hire vehicles will soon have an appropriately qualified driver at the wheel.

“This sets the standard for other local authorities to follow.”

Since the council set the qualification policy in February 2005, just under 1,000 drivers have successfully qualified.

The handful of drivers that have not yet managed to gain a BTEC are being given help in working towards the qualifications.

Bournemouth council is the first in the country to require such a qualification and licensing board members have previously admitted that getting all drivers to comply has been “a painful process”.

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