Plan Insurance Blog

English Language Tests for PHV drivers SUSPENDED by TfL

TfL have made the decision that the English Language tests requirements for PHV drivers will be postponed until September 2020.

The regulation originally would have obligated PHV drivers to pay £180 for an oral and written exam by July 16 this year, unless they could provide evidence of GCSE or O level English certificates.
TfL have said they will need to further assess the legislation to “make satisfying the requirement as simple as possible”.
The announcement has proved an element of success for the Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA), as this was a major topic discussed at the recent emergency meeting held in London. The final decision was broadcasted after crunch talks between the LPHCA and Mayor Sadiq Khan earlier this month.
Steve Wright, Founder and Chairman of LPHCA said:

“The 18-month extension will give government, the industry, regulators and other stakeholders, the opportunity, to set out and agree realistic English Language Requirements for PHV & Taxi drivers nationally going forward.”
He then added, “We are grateful that Mayor Khan and TfL TPH, have listened and we are extremely appreciative of the cross-party political support we have received from London Assembly Members, in particular Conservative Assembly Member Gareth Bacon, who brokered ‘politically neutral’ talks between the Mayor and Trade Representatives.”

Steve Garelick, GMB Regional Officer also shared his views on the decision:

“This is a victory for common sense and I hope that an appropriate test that can ensure public safety and a good service will come as a result of the consultation.
“GMB of course supports thorough testing to make sure that private hire in London is pre-eminent worldwide.”

What happens next?

While the tests have been suspended, they have not been scrapped. Drivers, operators and suppliers will certainly expect further developments following this decision.