Taxi Service Review

Article dated Thursday Nov 16, 2017 at 09:18 AM

Passenger safety and good practice remain the main concerns for Bradford Council’s taxi licensing service, according to a new report.

An independent review into the service has been carried out by inspectors from Leeds Council and its findings have been published this week.

In four main areas of investigation, the service was found to be operating in accordance with the highest national standards, and in a similar way to Leeds.

The Bradford Council service deals with 330 Hackney Carriage drivers and 3,970 Private Hire Drive and is responsible for licensing and inspecting vehicles to ensure that they do not pose a risk to the travelling public.

The in-depth report says that Bradford Council uses an advanced driving test and requires a basic standard of English for all drivers.

The decision making and enforcement section of the peer review says that taxi drivers receive a good level of customer service in relation to enforcement and suspensions, keeping a good balance between public safety and minimum disruption of trade.

New technology being introduced in the service is catching out some drivers out because they are not as computer literate as others, but plans are in place to introduce training for those who need it.

All drivers in the Bradford district have to attend training in safeguarding and awareness of issues relating to child sexual exploitation.

Where the service records customer service feedback at the Shearbridge Road depot, 90 per cent of the comments are positive and all transactions witnessed between staff and drivers were conducted professionally, politely and with good humour, says the report.

One area of concern in the report is that the service was concerned that some applicants may be asking family members to complete their application form or speak to licensing officers by phone during the initial application phase and this has been changed to require applicants to converse with officers in person.

As for driver training, the report says that the course Bradford uses is effective and well regarded by the trade.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “The Council has always had confidence in its taxi licensing service but it’s great to see that an independent review has found that such confidence is fully justified.

“We have received some complaints about the service and we have answered those issues that have been raised. This review shows that the vast majority of drivers, operators and customers are completely satisfied with the way we operate.

“Another bonus of this independent report is that it also identifies areas where improvements can be made and the service is already taking action to progress these.”

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