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People asked for views on effectiveness of taxi penalty point scheme

Published on 12 December 2016

PEOPLE are being asked whether a penalty point scheme designed to improve standards of city taxis has been effective.

A 12-month pilot scheme was launched by Leicester City Council in December 2015, with a pledge review its effectiveness and to make a decision on whether to make it permanent.

Now a public consultation is being launched to give people the chance to say whether they think the scheme has worked to improve taxi standards, as well as giving details of any complaints or concerns they have raised.

The six-week consultation, known as Driving Up Standards, runs from December 12 to January 31, 2017.

The results will be used by Leicester City Council to help decide whether to bring the penalty point scheme in permanently.

Under the scheme, Hackney carriage and private hire taxi drivers can be given penalty points for a range of offences, such as illegal or inconsiderate parking, driving unroadworthy vehicles, not displaying proper identification or failing to attend regular vehicle safety checks.

In the 12 months during which the pilot scheme has been running, there have been 99 instances of penalty points being issued, with 382 points issued in total. 

Of these, 208 points were issued for a total of 52 instances concerning parking offences.

A further 120 points were issued in 31 instances related to drivers not attending regular six-monthly tests. 

Twenty seven points were issued in nine instances where drivers did not display proper plates or signs, and 24 points were issued for six cases concerning driving unroadworthy taxis.  One case involved a driver not wearing an identification badge, for which three points were issued. 

The highest number of points issued to any one driver was seven, for two offences – a parking contravention and failing to display proper signs or plates.

Under the scheme any driver who accumulates 12 points in three years will have to come before the city council’s licensing committee who will decide what sanctions to impose, including revoking the taxi driver’s licence. 

The evidence from the last 12 months, along with the results of the consultation, will be considered before a decision is made on the future of the scheme.

Leicester Assistant City Mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair said:  “When this experimental scheme was brought in last December we pledged to look at it again after 12 months.

“This consultation gives people a chance to have their say on whether they think taxi driver standards have improved as a result of this penalty point scheme, as well as giving details of any relevant experiences they have had since the scheme began.

“Taxi drivers will also be able to give their views on how the scheme has affected their behaviour, and that of their colleagues.

“The information will help us decide whether or not this scheme has been a success, and whether or not to bring it in permanently.”

To take part in the consultation online visit: consultations.leicester.gov.uk

Paper copies of the consultation are also due to be made available shortly from libraries and the Granby Street Customer Service Centre. 

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