There’s no swerving taxi tyre checks

Reporter: Marina Berry
Date published: 30 November 2011

Oldham Licensing Committee
TAXI drivers pulled in for vehicle inspection will get an escort to the council’s testing centre — to prevent them stopping for new tyres on the way.

Licensing officer John Garforth told yesterday’s meeting an increasing number of drivers try to dodge the legal consequences of having bald tyres.

He said defective tyres posed a significant risk to passenger safety, adding: “There have been cases where it takes 40 minutes for drivers to get to the council’s testing station in Moorhey Street — it seems they are going via their local garage and changing their tyres.”

Pledging the escort, he said: “We take no prisoners over vehicle defects like this, and those driving with defective tyres will face prosecution.”

Spot checks on private hire and hackney carriage vehicles will be stepped up next year, with at least four operations taking place.

OLDHAM’S taxi drivers could be told to learn better English.
It could mean drivers will have to take a verbal or written basic English test, conducted either by licensing officers or a professional body. Where drivers fail, they could be sent on an English for Speakers of Other Languages course - or for a basic literacy test.

The licensing committee is consulting drivers and the public before deciding what action to take.

Licensing officer John Garforth explained: “At the last panel, three out of seven drivers had a poor grasp of English. It may be that they can communicate with their passengers and with individual officers, but struggle in the more formal setting.”

He said there had been a few complaints from the public. Drivers applying for a licence need to complete a written test with the Driving Standards Authority, and may also need to be able to refer to an A-Z when driving passengers to their destination.