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London Private Hire Taxi Drivers Forced To Pay £180 To Prove They Speak English In 'Scarcely Believable' Test, Says GMB

Monday, November 21, 2016

New move by Transport for London “a sledgehammer to crack a nut” according to union.

British private hire taxi drivers are being forced to stump up £180 to prove they speak English – even if they are born and raised in this country.

The new scheme from Transport for London (TfL) have been slammed as “scarcely believable” by the GMB.

Divers risk losing their license if they cannot prove they have a secondary school-level qualifications.

If they do not have a GCSE certificate, they must undergo a day-long language test under belittling classroom conditions.

Private hire operators in London are furious about the move and Steve Garelick, GMB's secretary for professional drivers, has written to the London Assembly to raise members’ concerns.

GMB has organised a protest against the tests at the City Hall on Thursday December 8.

Steve Garelick, GMB's professional drivers’ secretary, said:

"The audacity of TfL imposing these expensive and unnecessary tests on more than 110,000 drivers is scarcely believable.

"Forcing workers - many born and raised in Britain - to fork out £200 just to prove they can speak English is totally unacceptable.

"GMB recognises the need for drivers to have good communication skills - but these measures are above and beyond what is required.

"It's a sledgehammer to crack a nut."


Notes to editors

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