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Councillors to decide on medical reports for taxi drivers

Press release   •   Aug 23, 2015 10:00 BST

Members of Moray Council’s licensing committee will decide this week whether to move forward with implementing a requirement for taxi drivers to submit a medical report with their licence applications.

The requirement was one of several agreed last year as part of a review of taxi licensing conditions, although it has not been progressed for a variety of reasons.

Now the committee will be asked to reaffirm its requirement for applicants to provide a medical report on their fitness to drive or to reverse its decision.

The committee will be told that although the taxi trade initially backed medical reports on the grounds of public safety, the latest consultation suggested they believed it was unduly onerous and unnecessary.

Council officers say that the cost of commissioning reports would fall on the local authority initially, although it could be recouped through an increase in licensing fees.

“It is estimated that the cost of reports would be at least £100 to £125 each and approximately 200 would be required per annum. This is a total estimated cost of £20,000 to £25,000.”

Under the existing system applicants are required to disclose any medical conditions which might affect their ability to drive and are asked specifically about heart problems and diabetes. If issues are identified, a report is sought and paid for by the licensing authority.

The report to Wednesday’s committee meeting states: “Under self-disclosure, very few reports are required. That implies that for a large percentage of applications the report would be of no added value unless prospective drivers could be said to be concealing medical conditions.

“There is no evidence to confirm this and no ‘hidden’ medical conditions have been found.”

Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 92,500 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.

Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.

Headquartered in  Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.

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