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Driver training firm wins council contract

A Shropshire-based driver education specialist has won a contract with Telford & Wrekin Council to improve the performance and safety of local taxi and private hire drivers.

TTC Group, which employs over 130 people at its headquarters in Telford, will take over the delivery of the Knowledge and Driving Standards tests that are requirements in order to become a taxi or private hire driver within the borough.

The company will combine its experience working with Police forces across the country with access to the highest qualified driving instructors and trainers to work collaboratively with the local authority’s licensing team, delivering both knowledge and practical driving tests at its Hadley Park HQ.

A dedicated call centre will be in place to take bookings and payments, speeding up the process so potential taxi drivers can be trained and put through their paces for their badges quicker.

“The overriding reason behind our new partnership with TTC is ensuring the safety of local people when using taxis and private hire vehicles,” commented Carl Phillips, Commercial Manager - Public Protection at Telford & Wrekin Council.

“Every person will receive over an hour of training with an experienced road safety expert before sitting a Knowledge test based on what it means to be a taxi driver and the behaviour expected of them. Applicants then undertake a Driving Standards test, which is a 1-hour practical examination on the road.”

He continued: “We have been very impressed with the professionalism of TTC, the quality of its road safety experts and the systems they have in place to make the booking and payment process a lot simpler for candidates. I’m confident that following the tests, applicants will fully understand the importance of being a safe driver.”

The first Knowledge and Driving Standards tests took place in early March at TTC Group’s Headquarters.

A number of road safety experts have been trained to oversee the tests and to explore some of the challenges/scenarios facing taxi drivers, including the rules and regulations of holding a taxi badge, how to report collisions and dealing with children, ensuring they arrive safely at the intended address.

There will also be guidance on supporting individuals in the role and how they should deal with certain situations that could see allegations made against them.

Andy Wheeler, Business Development Director at TTC Group, concluded: “We have a proven track record in improving driving safety and behaviour and this latest contract will tap into our expertise and systems to help Telford & Wrekin Council ensure every taxi and private hire driver on local roads has gone through the right knowledge and practical driving tests.

“Hopefully, the individuals looking to secure their ‘badges’ will also benefit from the new approach and the advice and guidance we can offer. Education can play a crucial role in improving the safety of our roads.”

TTC Group has a 500-strong panel of approved trainers that deliver coaching and NDORS courses on behalf of 15 police forces across the UK.

It has also enjoyed strong growth in its cycling division, securing a number of new contracts, including delivery of Vulnerable Road User DCPC practical training to 25,000 HGV and commercial vehicle drivers on how they can better understand how cyclists behave on the road across the UK.

Pictured above: Carl Phillips (Telford & Wrekin Council) with Andy Wheeler (TTC Group)

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