Angry Luton taxi drivers blame council

Luton taxi drivers are unhappy that Dunstable taxi drivers do not have to pass a Luton knowledge test before transferring their licence to Luton Borough Council

Luton taxi drivers are unhappy that Dunstable taxi drivers do not have to pass a Luton knowledge test before transferring their licence to Luton Borough Council

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Luton taxi drivers are unhappy that their Dunstable counterparts are ‘invading’ their territory and not being required to sit the same tests.

A taxi driver from Luton, who does not wish to be named, is furious that some drivers from Dunstable are picking up jobs in Luton.

He said: “The drivers from Dunstable are invading our patch, they are registered with Central Bedfordshire Council but are asking to transfer their licences to Luton, and our council lets them.

“I had to go through a lengthy knowledge test for the Luton area, I had a CRB and other checks and I had to go through a council MoT which is very strict.

“Luton Council should make these drivers that come from other authorities sit the same tests, but they do not, they just let them transfer over, it is not fair.”

Luton Borough Council has raised concerns at a national level about cross-border hiring but it does not require drivers to complete a knowledge test if they have completed it with a neighbouring authority.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Luton Borough Council has been concerned for some time about the issue of cross-border hiring and licensing of private hire operators, drivers and vehicles, and we have raised this at a national level as we believe it is in the interests of public safety that service providers are required to comply with the conditions deemed appropriate in the 
area in which they are operating.

“We are also concerned about the increase in drivers and operators that have been licensed in neighbouring authorities to operate out of Luton bases, and so we are actively working with these licence holders to encourage them into the Luton Borough Council licensing regime.

“The conditions we attach to these licences are identical to those imposed on all Luton private hire drivers, and require that the licence holder has the necessary DSB (formerly CRB) check and that they have successfully completed a knowledge test.

“The main element of the test is to ensure an understanding of the Highway Code and road safety, and therefore successful completion of a knowledge test at a neighbouring authority has been deemed to satisfy the requirements for a licence to be issued by Luton Council in these circumstances.”

The Luton driver told the Herald and Post: “We have to know all the routes in Luton, all the schools, pubs, clubs and hotels, I had to study hard to pass that test. The Dunstable knowledge test will be different, so they should have to do the Luton one before they are given a licence. That is the only fair and right way to do it.”