Bob Ainsworth has pledged to support a petition that is being raised by local taxi drivers. The petition urges the Coventry Taxi Licensing Office and the Coventry Licensing and Regulatory Committee to offer the option of a 1 or 3 year drivers licence for taxi drivers in the city. The taxi drivers hope the petition will demonstrate the level of support amongst their colleagues for the introduction of a choice on licence durations, which to date has been resisted by the Coventry Licensing Authority.
Currently, the Licensing Authority in Coventry only issues 1 year licences and they have recently confirmed that they have no plans to change their policy in this area. However, the taxi drivers argue that offering a 1 or 3 year driver’s licence gives them more flexibility and alleviates any undue financial or administrative burdens on them and the licensing authority alike. They also argue that such a policy is in line with Department for Transport Best Practise Guidance, which states in paragraphs 55-56 that it is “…. good practise to offer drivers the choice of an annual or a three-year licence”. It goes on to state that “three years is the legal maximum period and is in general the best approach”.
Bob had a meeting on the 23rd August 2010 with Councillor Dave Chater – Acting Chairman of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee – and Frank Barlow – Manager of the Coventry Taxi Licensing Office – to discuss this issue, amongst others. Unfortunately, during the meeting Bob was unable to get them to consider introducing this measure.
“It seems to me that Coventry has decided to second guess the best practise guidance and are thereby causing unnecessary bureaucracy and expense”.
Department for Transport Best Practise Guidance: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/taxis/bestpractice/pdf/guidance.pdf
Relevant paragraphs 55-56 and 62-65