SLDC introduces tests for Taxi driversSouth Lakeland District Council

South Lakeland District Council’s Licensing Committee has agreed to introduce a number of measures before prospective taxi drivers can be granted a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driving Licence.

Taxi imagePrior to being granted a licence, all taxi drivers applying to SLDC will now need to pass a Local Knowledge Test and Driving Standards Agency (DSA) Driving Assessment.  Existing drivers will not be required to undertake the test unless they have had their licence suspended or revoked.

The Local Knowledge Test will ensure that a reasonable level of service is provided to members of the public and will test the applicant’s knowledge of popular tourist attractions and local amenities plus routes to various locations.  The test will also cover basic literacy including listening, speaking, reading and writing in English as well as basic numeracy.

The DSA driving assessment will test the driver on a number of competencies including awareness and anticipation, road and traffic conditions, correct use of speed, observation and mirror use.  The test will determine whether the driver is in control of the vehicle and makes sure that passenger safety and comfort are important to the driver.  If successful, driver will be issued with a certificate.  The test costs between £80 to £96.00 and the nearest driving test centres where the DSA assessment is carried out are at Preston, Carlisle, Workington and Skipton.

Click here for official details


Get ahead of the competition!!

Roadworthy Driving School can offer you a mock test assessment of your driving skills before the expense of going to test and, if required, can conduct improvement lessons on any areas of weakness.


Better testing for better drivers

From Monday 23 January, the driving theory test will no longer use pre-published questions in a move to stop candidates from learning answers by rote.

Until now all the questions used in the driving theory test have been published. These changes will mean that learner drivers and riders gain a better understanding of driving theory, because they can no longer rely on simply learning which options are correct for individual questions.

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said:
“By bringing a stop to publication of theory test questions we aim to encourage candidates to prepare by learning each topic area thoroughly rather than just memorising the questions and answers.

“The intention is to improve candidates’ knowledge and understanding of driving theory, so that they are more able to retain and apply it when they are on the road.”You can now get a Theory Test app for your phone

The familiar theory test books and software still offer revision questions for candidates to test themselves and assess their progress. They now also have exercises so learners can practice applying their knowledge on each topic to case studies. There are also new sections of revision support for motorcyclists and a free e-book for car drivers.

The agency has also launched its first iPhone apps for theory test revision, which also help candidates to study and monitor their progress at their convenience as they approach their test date. These are available from the iTunes Store.

DSA books, electronic books and software are available to order or download from TSO at and all good bookshops.


Better enforcement and education to cut road deaths

Plans to improve road safety education while taking tough action against the small minority of dangerous drivers were set out by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond today.

Careless driving will be made a fixed penalty offence to allow the police more effectively to tackle reckless driving that puts other road users in danger, while disqualified drivers face having to take a new test before regaining their licence.

There will also be more educational courses that can be offered in place of a fixed penalty and points in appropriate cases as well as a new post-test qualification for novice drivers, under plans set out in the new Strategic Framework for Road Safety.

And as new analysis shows, 3,500 deaths and serious injuries could have been prevented in a year if the successes of better local authorities and police forces had been matched across the country. Local people will be given the information they need to have a real say in road safety priorities on their local roads.

Philip Hammond said:

"This report marks a sea change in how we tackle road safety in this country. We are determined to differentiate between wilfully reckless drivers and the law abiding majority who sometimes make honest mistakes, or who have allowed their skills to deteriorate.

"We will focus relentlessly on cracking down on the really reckless few who are responsible for a disproportionately large number of accidents and deaths on our roads. By allowing the police to focus resources on dealing with these drivers, we can make our roads even safer.

"Our vision is to ensure Britain remains a world leader on road safety. We will only do this is if we bring people with us. This means cracking down on the most dangerous drivers without waging war on the law abiding majority.

The new Strategic Framework for Road Safety sets out the government’s plans to:

  • Make careless driving a fixed penalty offence to allow the police more effectively to tackle the wilfully reckless driving that puts other road users in danger. Guidance will ensure that that the circumstances in which a fixed penalty notice is appropriate are clearly defined.
  • Require offenders to pass a test before they regain their licence after a serious disqualification.
  • Make greater use of powers to seize vehicles to keep the most dangerous drivers off the roads.
  • Increase the level of fixed penalty notices for traffic offences from £60 to between £80 and £100 and penalty points. Levels have fallen behind those for other fixed penalty offences, which risks trivialising the offences.
  • Improve enforcement against drink and drug driving, as announced in the response to the North Report in March.
    Increase the use of police-approved educational courses that can be offered in place of fixed penalty notices to encourage safer driving behaviour.
  • Launch a new post-test qualification for new drivers, including an assessment process to give insurers confidence that it will create safer drivers who can expect to pay lower insurance costs. This will replace the current Pass Plus scheme.
  • Continue to improve the driving and motorcycling training processes, including introducing film clips into theory test.
  • Create a new website to allow local people to easily compare the road safety performance of their local area against similar areas, as well as a new portal to help road safety professionals share information. The framework published today also includes maps which show the recent road safety records and improvements of local authorities.
  • Launch an annual road safety day.

The framework also sets out the roles and responsibilities of local authorities, road safety professionals and other stakeholders in improving road safety and the increased freedom that is being given to local authorities in assessing and acting on their own priorities.

The government’s long term vision is to ensure that Britain remains a world leader on road safety and the department will monitor its performance against indicators in a new road safety outcomes framework.

Independent driving: the facts

Independent driving will become part of the practical driving test in Great Britain in October 2010.

It's tasking the candidate to drive for about 10 minutes, either following a series of directions, following traffic signs, or a combination of both.

To help the candidate be clear about where they’re going, the examiner can show them a diagram too.

It doesn't matter if candidates don't remember every direction, or if they go the wrong way - that can happen to the most experienced drivers.

Newspaper reports

The claim in some newspapers that independent driving would lead to a fall in the driving test pass rate is based on early research where conditions did not reflect the eventual design of the new element of the test.

Subsequent trials with a larger number of participants and more closely reflecting the conditions in the planned new test showed no significant fall in the pass rate.

Video shows independent driving
DSA has published a short video on its YouTube channel explaining more about independent driving.
Watch the video on YouTube.

Independent driving: the facts - Click here for PDF