Scarborough Taxi Driver’s Question MOT Changes

Taxi drivers are questioning why Scarborough Borough Council wants to change the way their MOT tests are carried out.

The council is proposing that all MOT’s for taxi’s and private hire vehicles should be done at the councils own facility rather than at independent garages.

The proposed change is contained in the councils ‘Draft Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy’ which has been put out to public consultation. The document regulates the way the industry works in the borough and includes rules about …..

Section 3.4 of the new document states..

All MOT tests and vehicle licence compliance checks shall be carried out at
Scarborough Borough Council’s garage, Dean Road Depot, Dean Road
Scarborough, YO12 7QS. Any MOT tests or licence compliance checks
carried out by any other garage/testing centre on hackney carriage or private
hire vehicles shall not be accepted.

Local taxi driver Will Barraclough says the proposed regulation is unfair

“It’s forcing all taxis to go to the council depot for MOT testing, what this will do is remove the trade from local garages, we thinks that’s £42,000 a year out of the local market, one of the biggest questions is why are they suddenly doing this?”

Will questions what difference the change will make to safety and what message it sends to the public.

“If the council say that the MOT must be done by them, why are they saying that and why is any other garage MOT inadequate, they are all trained by the same governing body – VOSA – everyone is trained the same way, why all of a sudden are local garages inadequate, what sort of reflecting is that going to paint amongst the public? Are they immediately going to think that where they are getting their car MOT’d is inadequate to what the council can offer when in fact it’s the same test.”

Jonathan Bramley, Scarborough Borough Council’s Environment and Regulation Manager said:

“We are aware that the proposed requirement for all private hire and hackney carriage MOT tests and compliance checks to be undertaken at our own depot in Scarborough is of concern to some of those operating in the trade. However it is for good reasons that we are proposing this change. Presently an MOT may be undertaken at any MOT certified garage, anywhere in the country, with the additional compliance checks being undertaken by our licensing officers during a two week period, twice a year. The consistency of existing MOT tests is of concern to us, particularly considering the results from snap inspections we have conducted since October 2015, where faults were found with vehicles which had only recently undergone and passed an MOT test. We do not think this is an acceptable situation for vehicles entrusted with carrying members of the public.

“The revised vehicle testing process we are proposing would combine both test elements into one comprehensive inspection at our depot. Not only will this provide consistency in terms of tests, it will negate the need for drivers to attend separate MOT and compliance visits. It would also allow us to set inspection criteria above that specified in a standard MOT test, for example the testing of fixings and equipment fitted to vehicles that have been modified to carry wheelchairs. At present there is no form of certification that assesses whether such modifications have been undertaken safely and in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, so we could improve this significantly.

“We know that for the vast majority of licensed drivers customer safety is of paramount importance, so we hope they can understand that the changes we are proposing are simply a way of us ensuring those same high standards are maintained consistently throughout the borough.

“Consultation on the proposed changes is underway with the local private hire and hackney carriage trades and they have until 9 November to respond to it, after which the council will consider all representations before making a final decision in January next year.”

Here are links to:

The Scarborough Borough Council Public Consultation

The Act Against SBC Taxi MOT Policy Petitiion

The Full Draft Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy

 

source: Yorkshire Coast Radio