TAXI drivers are set to see more stringent safety checks under Barnsley Council’s new licensing policy.

The new rules, proposed at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting to be put forward to full council for a decision, apply to both Hackney carriage and private hire drivers - and most notably will see disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks every six months.

It will also see a whistle-blower policy put in place to ensure concerns from within the trade are treated with appropriate seriousness.

Coun Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesperson for environment and transport, said: “From my time on the licensing committee, I was always extremely impressed by the level of the security that was guaranteed for the users of taxi and private hire vehicles.

“What we’re doing is reinforcing that position and making sure the safety of taxi users comes first.”

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said the policy brings Barnsley into line with the rest of South Yorkshire.

Further recommendations about CCTV in vehicles, executive director Shokat Lal said, may be sent to consultation with drivers due to ‘cost implications’.