Taxi drivers in Moray face language and knowledge tests as part of any future licensing applications – and will be required to adhere to a dress and behaviour code.
New rules are being introduced by Moray Council following a review of taxi and private hire licences, the result of recommendations from a wide-ranging consultation undertaken by the local authority’s licensing committee.
As well as facing the new tests, drivers will be banned from smoking while they are parked at a taxi rank.
The consultations followed representations from the general public, Police Scotland and the taxi trade itself – it is the first time in over 10 years that a review of private hire and taxi licensing has been held in Moray.
Councillor Ron Shepherd, chairman of the licensing committee, said: “A review was long overdue and it was important that we got the views of as wide a cross-section as possible.
“The licensing committee has taken on board those views and the changes which will be implemented are in line with the feedback we received from the consultation.
“It was the largest response we have ever had to a consultation on licensing and I would like to thank everyone who took the time and trouble to respond.”
A dress code that gave a smart, clean and tidy impression to customers provoked a 60% favourable response in the consultation, with discussion now set to take place with the taxi trade over how that code will be implemented.
The smoking restriction attracted a 67% favourable response while all bar 4% of those consulted supported the introduction of a language test as part of the license application process.
The licensing committee has also agreed to implement a series of recommendations stemming from a similar consultation on public entertainment licences which was run in parallel with the taxi licensing consultation.