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Bath Council bans satnav in taxis

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 14 Nov 2013

Bath Council has banned the use of satnav by licensed taxi drivers whilst on hire or available for hire.

The ban is part of a raft of new conditions with the council suggesting it is not unreasonable to expect the drivers to know the area for which they are licensed.

It seems an odd move. a satnav can provide useful backup to local knowledge although the ban does not affect any journey that starts or ends outside of the licensed area.

Quite how this affects taxi dispatch systems that use GPS enables smartphones remains to be seen. Cordic is one very popular system that allows dispatchers to task drivers to jobs and provide real-time updates to customers on the location of their taxi.

Perhaps the council will now be calling for a ban on their use in emergency vehicles, after all, they should also be expected to have a sound knowledge of their areas too?

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Posted by sussamb on Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:44 am Reply with quote

If only ...

I used to work on an ambulance rapid response car. We used to be kept in our local areas, but now can end up anywhere within 3 counties. We (the staff) all know that local knowledge can save time and lives but are told by management that as we have satnavs that doesn't count any more Twisted Evil

Where there's a will ... there's a way.

Posted by Darren on Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:21 pm Reply with quote

Local knowledge is, without a doubt, useful. But it seems rather foolish to ban the use of technology that can aid you.

Darren Griffin - Editor

Posted by MaFt on Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:14 pm Reply with quote

But surely those devices with traffic warnings would be of benefit to cut congestion - local knowledge or not, you can't always know where traffic will be.

What a stupid idea :/

Posted by simon_ae on Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:07 am Reply with quote

It's the same for the police, I used to know my one town well, but now we cover anywhere in the county good local knowledge is impossible. Without the sat nav I'd never get there!

Posted by M8TJT on Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:18 am Reply with quote

But it says they can use them 'out of licence area'

Posted by kcphoto on Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:42 am Reply with quote

Are they supposed to know every house number as well as the streets. Satnavs direct you to pretty much right outside the door which is very useful in the dark in a long street when sometimes a drunken passenger would have no idea.

Posted by Snudge on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:58 pm Reply with quote

This is the reason I found:
“On a recent multi agency taxi check undertaken in BANES 100% of existing taxis already using satellite navigation systems were found by VOSA inspectors to be compromising the drivers view of the road by being installed within the swept area of the windscreen.
“The systems were required to be removed by VOSA immediately as they were considered to be in contravention of construction and use regulations.”
(BANES means Bath & NE Somerset)

...but they can still be used out of the area?

Posted by MaFt on Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:47 pm Reply with quote

Out of interest, are we talking Taxi's here or Private Hire Vehicles? Because they are two separate beasts. I never use Taxis (too expensive) and always opt for Private Hire cars.

Posted by JamesEncliffe on Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:21 am Reply with quote

It looks like some idiot on the council doesn't understand what satnavs really are, or their value to the driver! Use of a satnav enables the taxi to quickly find any address without wasting time and fuel searching a street. The driver can also plot the shortest route between calls, saving fuel again. All valuable features.

As for the position of the device... obviously it needs to be close to the normal line of sight of the driver, to enable easy use without taking eyes off the road. I have seen some placed in the most stupid places, where the driver cannot check the route without looking away from the raod ahead! It does not matter that the screen is within the 'swept area', as long as it doesn't impede visability.

Overall, ridiculous nonsense from the council and the inspectors, none of whom seem to have any common sense.

Posted by DennisN on Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:22 am Reply with quote

Snudge Wrote:
(BANES means Bath & NE Somerset)


When we (and I had nothing to do with it) formed BANES, the name of the new council was much discussed. You see, it was formed from the breakup of the much hated County of Avon and was powered by the Back to Bristol and Back to Somerset campaigns. Bristol always was the City and County of Bristol (by Royal Charter or something), even under Avon, and they never ever changed the town/county signs at each entry over all the years of Avon's existence, despite the signs getting tatty over the years.

But BANES and North Somerset (that's the one the Chief Constable wants to reactivate speed cameras) used to be one part (the south) of Avon and North Somerset got their bid in for a name before BANES. The trouble with BANES was that it contained the city of Bath, full of snooty posh people and councillors, who were completely opposed to losing their identity in the new council. Frankly, the best idea would have been to call the place the City and County of Bath, but the Back to Somerset people couldn't tolerate that (you can still see the odd household which 30 years ago went out and stole a Somerset sign from the roadside for their front gardens when Avon was created (and they always gave out their address as Keynsham, Somerset). So it took a long time to come up with Bath And North East Somerset. Which was instantly prohibited from being abbreviated to BANES - guess why! The official abbreviation is B&NES - I have no idea how we are supposed to pronounce it, as so many of us are so unimpressed with it that we call it Banes anyway.

So bright are they, that they are introducing 20mph limit throughout my home town of Keynsham. EXCEPT not on the through routes which will remain at 30mph. By coincidence, the through routes are the roads in which drivers speed, as demonstrated by the existence of our mobile speed camera sites. So all little side roads off the five approach roads have to have gurt big 20 signs and all throughout the estates, repeater 20 signs. There is one point where they still have 30 painted very boldly on the road, supported by an electronic sign which flashes 30 at approaching vehicles, both with a 20mph repeater alongside them! My own suggestion was to simply introduce blanket 20mph for the town, with nice big signs at the seven entries, announcing that the town was 20mph, then pop out a few repeaters. But I suppose that would be too cheap.

Anyway Snudge consider yourself truly castigated for this wickedness - I speak on behalf of all the councillors who would hang draw and quarter you for calling it BANES.


If it tastes good - it's fattening.

Two of them are obesiting!!

Posted by M8TJT on Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:57 am Reply with quote

DennisN Wrote:
So it took a long time to come up with Bath And North East Somerset. Which was instantly prohibited from being abbreviated to BANES - guess why! The official abbreviation is B&NES - I have no idea how we are supposed to pronounce it
You pronounce it 'Bath And North East Somerset'. The abbreviation B&NES is for the written word and not supposed to be 'pronounced'. Shocked The acronym is BANES, but the council do not approve of this, so DON'T USE IT or dire consequences will descend upon you. Very Happy Very Happy

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