Helping Torbay’s taxi trade to keep up with demand

Taxi.

Torbay Council has reduced the application fee to become a licensed driver in a bid to recruit new drivers. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Taxi companies in Torbay are experiencing a shortfall in the number of drivers in the trade, as the demand on local operators increases.

With various sectors of the economy now reopened, particularly the hospitality industry, the need for taxi services has returned close to pre-pandemic levels.

In response, Torbay Council has significantly reduced the application fee to become a licensed driver in a bid to recruit new drivers, to keep pace with the summer demand and replace those that have found alternative employment.

Many drivers left the trade at the height of the pandemic to find alternative employment.

It is hoped the reduced application fee will appeal to anyone looking to get into the trade or is thinking of a career that can offer the flexibility that driving a taxi or private hire vehicle can bring.

Cllr Vic Ellery

Cllr Vic Ellery - Credit: Torbay Council

Cllr Vic Ellery, chair of the licensing committee, said; “Torbay’s taxi and private hire trade are an important transport link for residents and visitors. It is important we ensure there is a sufficient service to get passengers to their destination safely and on time.

"We are working closely with the trade to offer as much support as we can to help them recruit much needed new drivers.”

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The new application fee of £50 will be limited to the first 50 applications received, the reduced fee will expire on December 31.

To take advantage of the reduced fee, new applicants should log on to www.torbay.gov.uk/business/licensing/taxis/new-drivers/

As part of the application process a medical examination and Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service check is required.