Availability of Wheelchair Accessible Taxis/PHVs

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear North Kesteven District Council,

WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE TAXIS/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLES (“WAVs”)-AVAILABILITY
This study is concerned with actual rather than notional availability of wheelchair accessible taxis and PHVs (“WAVs”). Individuals and some organisations can have great difficulty obtaining WAVs when and where required. As a generality, in rural/semi-rural areas or at schooltimes, on some evenings and on Sundays. This seeks to begin to clarify why this occurs and what does and does not work to improve the situation.
1. TAXI STATISTICS : How many a)wheelchair accessible taxis; b) other taxis c) wheelchair accessible phvs d) other phvs do you have licensed? This is to update the 2015 DfT statistics, the 2017 update is due shortly.
2. TAXI POLICY & PUBLIC SECTOR EQUALITY DUTY : FACTORS AFFECTING AVAILABILITY:
Typical factors affecting availability in a given licensing area are:
a) whether individual licensing authorities require a fully or substantially WAV fleet;
b) LA (eg SEN, schools, social care) and NHS (eg goods, staff ,NEPTS etc ) contracts;
c) not making all WAV operators booking/ contact details publically available;
d) operators refusal of prebookings;
e) operators refusal to carry wheelchairs;
f) drivers medical exemptions (wheelchair and assistance dog);
g) significantly more people relative to resident population eg commuters, tourists, passengers in transit;
h) private contracts, driver rest, vehicle repair and maintenance etc;
Please say if and how your taxi policy takes into account each of a)-h) above, or anything else relevant to try to ensure that sufficient WAVs are available to meet demand .*
3. CONTACT INFORMATION:*
To enable further research into accuracy, reliability, consistency and completeness of public and commercial information please provide a list/ spreadsheet/link etc showing the business contact details for all WAV operators with which your authority has dealings (eg as a Licensing Authority or contracting party including for Unitary Authorities, SEN, social services etc. In two-tier authorities please also state the contracting authority).
4. RAIL INDUSTRY : *
To obtain approval by the rail regulator, of their Disabled Persons Protection Policies (“DPPPs”) in order to meet the requirements of their operating licences, station and Train Operating Companies (“TOCs”) should know about WAV availability both for their own needs (rail disruption etc) and to inform passengers.
What arrangements if any have you made to inform them or to ensure that licensed WAV operators do so?
5. INFORMATION FOR TOURISTS , AIR/SEA/RAIL etc PASSENGERS IN TRANSIT ;*
Does your authorities information (including websites & social media) clearly tell the public:
a) the contact details for all WAVs licensed by your authority? If not, why not?; b)if and when WAVS are likely to be hard to obtain?;
c) that TAXI/PHV operators may charge extra etc to carry wheelchairs? (ie unless and until s167 is formally commenced).
6. COMPETITION.
Large authorities responsible for schools/SEN Transport can typically spend around £10m-£11m annually on taxis, including many WAVs .
Have you carried out or collaborated with any value for money studies on this? With what outcome?

Having discussed this matter with the ICO I wish to draw the following to your attention:
1. RE-USE OF INFORMATION PREVIOUSLY SUPPLIED
To minimise duplication I intend to re-use information on wheelchair accessible taxis/PHVs recently provided by your authority to Mr Doug Paulley in response to his Freedom of Information Request. This is for possible use by anyone interested in any way in disability and transport , including government, and is NOT for commercial gain.
2. *If providing the information in exactly the form requested is onerous, but is available in another easier to provide form (eg in a report or printed document) please say so as soon as possible.
Yours faithfully,
dick fowler

NK - FOI, North Kesteven District Council

Ref No: 17/249

 

21 August 2017

 

Dear Mr Fowler

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request regarding: Availability
of Wheelchair Accessible Taxis/PHVs.

 

We can confirm your request was registered on 21 August 2017. This will be
dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and
answered within twenty working days. 

 

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, we
will let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be
required to pay before we will proceed to deal with your request.

 

If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact the
department. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any
future communications.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Helen Snowden

Performance and Information Assistant

Corporate Information Team

North Kesteven District Council

Tel No. 01529 414155 Ext 28186

 

NK - FOI, North Kesteven District Council

Ref No: 17/249

 

12 September 2017

 

Dear Mr Fowler

 

We refer to previous correspondence regarding your request for information
relating to: Availability of Wheelchair Accessible Taxis/PHVs.

 

The information you requested is given below:

 

1.                   TAXI STATISTICS : How many

a)     wheelchair accessible taxis;

4

b)     other taxis

53

c)      wheelchair accessible phvs

33

d)     other phvs

106

do you have licensed?

2.               TAXI POLICY & PUBLIC SECTOR EQUALITY DUTY : FACTORS
AFFECTING AVAILABILITY:

Typical factors affecting availability in a given licensing area are:

a) whether individual licensing authorities require a fully or
substantially WAV fleet;

b) LA (eg SEN, schools, social care) and NHS (eg goods, staff ,NEPTS etc )
contracts;

c) not making all WAV operators booking/ contact details publically
available;

d) operators refusal of prebookings;

e) operators refusal to carry wheelchairs;

f) drivers medical exemptions (wheelchair and assistance dog);

g) significantly more people relative to resident population eg commuters,
tourists, passengers in transit;

h) private contracts, driver rest, vehicle repair and maintenance etc;

Please say if and how your taxi policy takes into account each of a)-h)
above, or anything else relevant to try to ensure that sufficient WAVs are
available to meet demand .

We can confirm the Authority holds this information. The information
requested is considered exempt from disclosure under Section 21 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 because this is accessible to you, as it
is already in the public domain.

Any relevant  information can be viewed by using the following link:

[1]https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/business/l...

An update to our policy with respect to WAVs was considered on 24 May
2017. The decision to publish a list of WAVs (and thus apply the Equality
Act provisions) and the procedure for drivers to obtain an exemption has
been agreed by the council. The report considered on 24 May 2017 can be
viewed at

[2]https://nkdc.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocum...

3. CONTACT INFORMATION: To enable further research into accuracy,
reliability, consistency and completeness of public and commercial
information please provide a list/ spreadsheet/link etc showing the
business contact details for all WAV operators with which your authority
has dealings (eg as a Licensing Authority or contracting party including
for Unitary Authorities, SEN, social services etc. In two-tier authorities
please also state the contracting authority).

Details below. Contracting authority is Lincolnshire County Council.

 

PO0033 Private Hire B & M Transport 01522 721851 07817 352718
Operator
PO0018 Private Hire Barnes Taxis 01526 833863 07940 410421
Operator
PO0044 Private Hire ICW Transport 01526 345460 07808 779011
Operator
PO0068 Private Hire J J Cabs 01529 300448 07950 236255
Operator
PO0032 Private Hire Marks Specialised 01522 793816 07880 735727
Operator Transport
HV0001 Hackney Carriage Claphams Taxis 01476 530228 01476 530228

 

 

4. RAIL INDUSTRY:

To obtain approval by the rail regulator, of their Disabled Persons
Protection Policies (“DPPPs”) in order to meet the requirements of their
operating licences, station and Train Operating Companies (“TOCs”) should
know about WAV availability both for their own needs (rail disruption etc)
and to inform passengers. What arrangements if any have you made to inform
them or to ensure that licensed WAV operators do so?

 

No information is held on this matter.

 

5. INFORMATION FOR TOURISTS , AIR/SEA/RAIL etc PASSENGERS IN TRANSIT:

Does your authorities information (including websites & social media)
clearly tell the public:

a)     the contact details for all WAVs licensed by your authority? If
not, why not?;

Yes

b)     if and when WAVS are likely to be hard to obtain?;

No information is held on this matter.

c)      that TAXI/PHV operators may charge extra etc to carry wheelchairs?
(ie unless and until s167 is formally commenced).

N/A S.167 commenced.

 

6. COMPETITION:

Large authorities responsible for schools/SEN Transport can typically
spend around £10m-£11m annually on taxis, including many WAVs .

Have you carried out or collaborated with any value for money studies on
this? With what outcome?

 

No information is held on this matter.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted to the Freedom of Information Officer within two months of the
date of receipt of the response to your original letter either via email
at: [3][North Kesteven District Council request email] or by post to North Kesteven District
Council, Corporate and Customer Services, Kesteven Street, Sleaford,
Lincs, NG34 7EF.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.

 

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Helen Snowden

Performance and Information Assistant

Corporate Information Team

North Kesteven District Council

Tel No. 01529 414155 Ext 28186

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/business/l...
2. https://nkdc.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocum...
3. mailto:[North Kesteven District Council request email]