Blackpool’s landaus face tougher rules and driving test

A Landau test taking place
A Landau test taking place
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A new policy for Blackpool’s landau fleet is due to go before councillors tomorrow for approval.

The framework will include a set of standards which operators will be expected to conform to including a tougher driving test.

A review of the 44-strong fleet was prompted following an incident in October 2014 when a horse bolted on the Promenade with a couple and three children on board the landau

The policy has been put together in consultation with the landau trade and has been discussed in detail at the Landau Liaison meeting.

Blackpool Council’s licensing committee is being recommended to approve the policy and forward it to the executive for ratification.

A report to the committee says: “The Horse Drawn Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy is not a statutory policy.

“This means that there is no requirement for the council to adopt one, although it is good practice to do so as it sets out the council’s approach to issuing licences and enforcement.”

Among the issues covered by the new policy are public safety and driver safety, protection of vulnerable passengers and the welfare of the horses.

A more stringent and rigorous driving test for prospective carriage drivers has been developed to include both a theory and an extended practical test including ability to perform manoeuvres,knowledge of animal husbandry and ability to attach the dung catching device.

There will also be a Promenade test including manoeuvering in traffic and parking on ranks.

For the first time drivers will also have to undertake regular medical examinations, along similar lines to those taken by taxi drivers.

However the age of horses used on the Prom has been reduced from six to four.

The policy states: “The principal purpose of horse drawn hackney carriage licensing is to protect the public and promote public safety.

“The council’s aim is to facilitate well run and responsible businesses which display sensitivity to the wishes and needs of the general public.”