A new Driver Improvement Penalty Point Scheme is set to be introduced next April to drive up taxi standards in the Nottingham.
The overall aim of the move is to improve driver behaviour, customer service and passenger safety.
The scheme, given the go-ahead by the council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee this week (Tuesday 29 November), outlines ten standards which taxi drivers must meet to hold either a hackney carriage or private hire licence in Nottingham.
The move is part of a wider taxi strategy that is being developed by the City Council to drive up taxi standards through a range of improvements to local taxi services. Improvements include introducing greener taxi vehicles, providing training for drivers including how to spot and respond to safeguarding issues and improving the safety and accessibility of taxis for the travelling public.
Under the DIPP Scheme, drivers can receive up to twelve points over a three-year rolling period before their licence will be reviewed. If they exceed twelve points, action will be taken, up to and including suspending or revoking their licence. The standards in the scheme include:
- Driving a vehicle in an unroadworthy condition
- Failure to convey passengers in a safe and responsible manner
- Parking a vehicle in contravention of parking restrictions
- Failure to use taxi meter for journeys within prescribed distance.
As the licensing authority, the City Council has a duty to ensure taxi drivers are ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence which the DIPP Scheme will help to uphold. There are currently 411 hackney cabs and over 1,000 private hire vehicles licensed in Nottingham, facing challenges such as changing travel habits, as well as app bookings, new types of operators such as Uber and low emission vehicles. The council is keen to see the sector survive and thrive as part of the city’s widely-admired sustainable transport network and the DIPP Scheme and wider strategy aim to help this happen over the next five years and beyond.
Portfolio Holder for Business, Growth and Transport, Councillor Nick McDonald, said: “Taxis are an important part of the city’s widely-acclaimed transport network and we need to be sure they are fit for purpose in the modern world.
“The proposal to introduce a Driver Improvement Penalty Point Scheme helps to reassure passengers that there are minimum standards among licensed taxis in Nottingham aimed primarily at ensuring they get a good, safe service, while reminding taxi drivers of the responsibilities and standards expected of them.
“This is part of a broader strategy to bring local taxis up to standards that the travelling public expect and connect them more effectively with other parts of our local transport network.”