Taxi drivers in Calderdale to face tougher English tests

Calderdale transport
Taxi queue in George Street, Halifax
Calderdale transport Taxi queue in George Street, Halifax

Taxi drivers will face tougher English tests to become a driver in Calderdale after councillors agreed to new plans.

The licensing and regulatory committee approved the introduction of an in-house English test for all new applications for both hackney carriage and private hire licences.

The examination is set to be part of a consistent approach across the region, whereby all authorities are considering introducing a minimum standard equivalent to ESOL Level 3.

The report stated: “Licensing Authorities recognise that to offer a reasonable standard of service and safety to the customer a basic knowledge of spoken English language is required.

“Neighbouring authorities have adopted this as an essential requirement.

“Where ever possible we are seeking to implement consistent service standards across the region.

“The initial assessment consists of a reading, writing and listening assessment and applicants would be expected to achieve an Entry 3 result in all three components.

In Calderdale licensing bosses are now looking to introduce a reading, writing and listening assessment at the Adult Learning Centre in Halifax at a cost of £15 per applicant.

Should a potential driver fail the test, they can be offered a course to bring their language skills up to scratch.

Currently, the Council have the Professional Standard Training in place to cover subjects like Child Sexual Exploitation, drug and alcohol misuse, antisocial behaviour, hate crime domestic abuse and personal safety.

This replaced the Council’s in house knowledge test which covered questions on the local area and how to get from A to B.