The North West Taxi Proprietors project manager, Eamonn O’Donnell, believes new taxi regulations, which come into practice today, will help to enhance the taxi industry locally.
Earlier this week, Environment Minister, Mark H. Durkan announced that from October 31 2014 people applying for a tax licence will have to undergo both a practical and theory test.
It will also be compulsory for any taxi driver renewing their licence from September 2016 to have seven hours of periodic training per year.
In recent years a driver could apply for a taxi licence after they had removed the restricted driver plates but under the new regulations a driver will have to have held a driver’s licence for at least three years before they can apply.
“We at North West Taxi Proprietors believe the new regulations will enhance the taxi service locally.
“The practical and the theory test will help to educate new drivers about the importance of customer service, disability awareness and eco-driving,” said Eamonn O’Donnell.
It is believed that the new regulations will help to reduce the number of unlicensed taxi drivers on Derry’s roads.
The current cost of a taxi licence application is £140 but with the addition of the practical and theory tests, an application from today onwards could cost approximately £230.
“We feel that the new regulations will improve the calibre of driver applying for a taxi licence. It’ll improve the service taxi companies all over will be able to offer and that has to be seen as a good thing,” he said.