Better driver training to protect passengers

A company used by police forces to give speed awareness courses is being taken on by Telford & Wrekin Council to train and examine taxi and private hire drivers.

Better driver training to protect passengers

From 1 April, TTC Group, based in Telford, will take over the Knowledge and Driving Standards Tests that need to be passed by anyone applying to Telford & Wrekin Council to be a taxi or private hire driver.

(Pictured Carl Phillips, Commercial Manager - Public Protection, Telford & Wrekin Council and Andy Wheeler, Business Development Director, TTC Group)

The company’s road safety experts have been trained to oversee the tests and explore some of the challenges and scenarios facing the drivers, including the rules and regulations of holding a hackney carriage or private hire licence (badge) and how to report collisions.

Angie Astley, Assistant Director - Neighbourhood & Customer Services at Telford & Wrekin Council said: “Our officers apply the highest standards when we license drivers and our partnership with TTC is to ensure the safety of anyone using a taxi or private hire vehicle.

“Every driver applying for a licence with Telford & Wrekin Council will receive one hour of training with an experienced road safety expert before sitting a Knowledge test on what it means to be a taxi or private hire driver and the behaviour expected of them. Prior to any licence being granted, drivers must pass this test in addition to taking and passing the Driving Standards test, which is a one hour practical exam on the road.

“If you book a private hire vehicle or hail a taxi that has been licensed by Telford & Wrekin Council, you should be safe in the knowledge that they meet our high standards. Our officers will act on anyone who doesn’t.”

Andy Wheeler, Business Development Director at TTC Group, said: “We have a proven track record in improving driving safety and behaviour and this latest contract will tap into our expertise and systems to help Telford & Wrekin Council ensure every taxi driver on local roads has gone through the right knowledge and practical driving tests.

“Hopefully, the individuals looking to secure their ‘badges’ will also benefit from the new approach and the advice and guidance we can offer. Education can play a crucial role in improving the safety of our roads.”