A street knowledge test for private hire taxis has been suspended.
Members of the Aberdeen City Council licensing committee have agreed to overturn council policy – in place since February 1990 – and drop the tests for private hire drivers.
This follows a court ruling that the test need only be taken by those applying for a taxi driver’s licence.
Sam Murray, a law student at Robert Gordon University, took the council to court after being turned down for the private hire licence, claiming the policy was “illegal and unenforceable”.
Mr Murray said the decision to suspend the tests for private hire drivers was an “astounding victory”.
He added: “This is not just for myself, but for anyone denied a licence in the past.
“I’m concerned with how the council got away with it for so long and that people were denied a decent living through wrongful implementation of this policy.”
Sheriff Graeme Napier said the committee should have stuck to the provisions of a parliament act from the 1980s, which states such a test need only be taken by those applying for a taxi driver’s licence.
General manager of ComCab Aberdeen, Scott Douglas, said he would not be taking on any private hire drivers who had not passed the knowledge test.
He added: “We have concerns for passengers and how they can get around Aberdeen in the cheapest way.
“At peak periods of time the shortest route is not always the quickest route.
“I don’t want any of our corporate customers to have drivers asking how to get from A to B.”
Legislation is set to be brought into force by the Scottish Government at a later date which will amend the existing law to include private hire licences.
At present the Scottish Government has not given any timescales for implementation.
Members of the licensing committee agreed to encourage private hire drivers to voluntarily take the test and to write to the Scottish Government calling for this legislation to be implemented as a priority.
A taxi driver can pick up fares on the street while a private hire driver can only pick up pre-booked jobs.