TAXI and private hire drivers have taken part in new training sessions to raise awareness of safeguarding issues in Bury.

The first cohort of drivers, mainly from the borough’s two largest private hire businesses, Magnum Whiteline and Elton Bullitt, completed the Trust 2 Ride programme which uses case studies to highlight signs that drivers should look out for.

They were then presented with certificates at Bury Town Hall by the council’s trading standards and licensing service. The training is now being extended to more than 1,000 remaining Hackney carriage and private hire drivers licensed in Bury, and has been made mandatory for all new applicants and taxi drivers.

Congratulating the drivers at the award ceremony, Councillor Tahir Rafiq, chair of the licensing and safety panel, said: “As taxi drivers you have a very important role to play in protecting the public and keeping society safe. You are the eyes and ears on the street, you deal with the most vulnerable members of society, often at the most vulnerable times of the day and the things you may see and hear cannot be underestimated.”