Transport for London has told the industry the deadline for the introduction of the controversial English Tests will be delayed until July 2018.
Last month (30 June), TfL bosses decided to delay the introduction until April 2018 from its original deadline of September 2017.
TfL states on its website today; “Previously, we stated that anyone whose application for a new or renewal private hire driver’s licence was received on or after 14 October 2016 had until 30 September 2017 to provide evidence of their ability to comply with the requirement to TfL. We have now extended the deadline from 30 September 2017 to 16 July 2018.
Chairman of the Licensed Private Hire Association (The LPHCA), Steve Wright told TheChauffeur.com; “Following a sustained political campaign and a formal protest, the LPHCA welcomes this move by TfL. Whilst we will be continuing our campaign to moderate the test, supported by all the other main trade bodies, many Greater London Assembly Members, disabled groups and others, in light of the ongoing legal challenge, it was untenable to insist that drivers should undertake any English tests as a condition of obtaining or renewing a PHV driver’s licence.
He added; “As the court case starts in February 2018, TfL has listened to us and made the correct decision to change the requirement date to July 2018. This will enable the TfL and other Trade Bodies, to study the outcome of the legal proceedings and discuss the future of the any English test and testing regime, once the Appeal Court has determined the outcome of the latest legal challenge in the New Year.”
The English Test would require those applying for a Private Hire license to undergo an English language test to prove their abilities and submit the qualification to TfL. Drivers would be allowed to provide a copy of previously obtained exam certificate demonstrating English language proficiency.
If they can’t locate one, a driver would need to contact their exam board to obtain a copy or, if their exam board no longer exists, they would need to commence a likely minimum eight-week process to try and get hold of a copy from the AQA.
An English language requirement applies to all applications for private hire drivers licences received by TfL on, or after, 14 October 2016. This includes applications for both renewal and new licences.