05:00PM, Monday 26 November 2018
Specialist training for cab and taxi drivers has been introduced by Slough Borough Council (SBC) to ensure disabled customers can be assisted during their journeys.
The mandatory Passenger Assistant Training (PATS) will come into force from New Year’s Day.
It will focus on disability awareness training, with drivers being equipped to support and meet the needs of passengers wishing to use their services.
It will mean all new applicants looking to secure a Hackney Carriage or private hire driver’s licence will have to undertake this training before a licence is granted.
The training will also be compulsory for existing taxi drivers, whose training must be completed within one year of New Year’s Day.
Licence holders who have not undergone the training by December 31, 2019 will have their licenses suspended until they complete the training and can produce a valid certificate to prove their attendance.
All Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers — including combined licensed drivers — who have previously completed PATS training, will be exempt from the new requirement.
The training was approved by SBC’s licensing committee last month in line with recommendations in the Government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy, published in July.
The committee has 14 PATS providers in place, who will be ready to carry out the training across the borough in the new year.
Cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection Councillor Pavitar Mann (Lab, Britwell and Northborough)
Councillor Pavitar K. Mann, cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection and a member of the committee, said: “I am extremely passionate about making sure the needs of our diverse community are met, and the services we provide reflect our commitment.
“I’m delighted we are supporting the borough’s drivers to ensure our cabs and taxis will be accessible and able to meet the varying needs of Slough’s residents.”
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