These new tests and courses are what Calderdale taxi drivers now have to pass to be awarded a licence

Calderdale councillors have agreed policies which will help harmonise driver training and driver suitability issues across West Yorkshire and York.

The policies will affect new drivers seeking licenses for hackney carriages, private hire vehicles and dual badge drivers and those seeking renewals, including refresher training.

Taxis in Calderdale

Taxis in Calderdale

The suitability policy will be enacted from August 1 and the training policy in September.

When it met this week the full Calderdale Council agreed to Licensing and Regulatory Committee recommendations that the policies be adopted.

Committee chair Coun Daniel Sutherland (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) said training policy regulated standards and included some more rigorous elements such as a local knowledge test while the suitability policy related to how past behaviour and convictions would affect drivers’ suitability to have a licence.

Consultations had taken place before formulating the policies which West Yorkshire and York authorities believed would benefit both the trade and the travelling public.

Coun Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse) was concerned about some matters including some consultees challenging issues of sentences given to people who had committed child sexual exploitation.

Coun Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park) said hundreds and hundreds of drivers had undertaken training and on occasion prompt action from some of them had brought instances of children and young people who were at risk to the attention of the authorities.

Coun Megan Swift (Lab, Town) reminded councillors that part of the driver training was so they could recognise if someone was having problems and at that point ring the police.