§ Mr. Nicholas Bennett
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people are at present waiting to take the Metropolitan police's examination to become taxi drivers; what is the average number of applicants tested each year; and what is the average annual pass rate for the above examination.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The tests take place in several stages, each of which must be successfully completed before the applicant is licensed as a taxi driver. Applicants present themselves to take the various stages when they consider themselves ready to do so, and regularly spread their attempts over a considerable period of time. There are at present just over 2,000 applicants undergoing assessment. There are currently a further 4,379 applicants who have not yet presented themselves for assessment; a proportion of these may be expected to withdraw before doing so. There were 926 successful candidates in 1986. Over the previous five years the average number of successful candidates was about 700.