Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Taxi Regulations

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the rationale for the continuation of the sitting of the SPSV licence entry test in view of the oversupply of SPSV drivers on the road currently. [57240/12]

Photo of Alan KellyAlan Kelly (Tipperary North, Labour)
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As part of the Taxi Regulation Review 2011, the examination of the broad issues for future regulatory policy was assisted by an economic analysis of the taxi market carried out by the consultants, Indecon. The analysis found that a fall in demand for SPSV services over a 3-4 year period had not been matched by a corresponding level of exit from the industry, leading to a clear problem of oversupply. The Indecon analysis suggests that the impact of non-compliant operators and low levels of exit from the industry are significant impacting factors on oversupply.

The future approach of the Review Group recommended in the Review Report is towards improvements in the regulation of qualitative standards in the industry and to encourage exit from the industry of those who operate in breach of the required standards and regulations, through better enforcement. Ensuring standards in the taxi industry commences at the point of entry on application for an SPSV licence.

The skills development test for the SPSV drivers licence was introduced in 2009 and then extended to all licensed drivers by 2012. The purpose of the test is to ensure that the recipient of an SPSV driver licence has a sufficient level of knowledge of their area of operation, and of the regulations governing the industry, to provide the appropriate standard of service to passengers. The test is quite onerous with a low pass rate. Discontinuation of the test would not be an appropriate or proportionate response to the issue of oversupply in the industry and would not solve any of the immediate problems the taxi sector faces.


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