Action on discriminatory private hire providers

Doug Paulley made this Freedom of Information request to Oxford City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Oxford City Council.

Dear Oxford City Council,

I just tried putting the same journey into Royal Cars Private Hire Oxford's Fare Calculator at https://www.royal-cars.com/services/fare...

1) A journey from Oxford University Tennis Club to Oxford Railway Station next Monday 3rd January at 10am using a Saloon car (1-4 passengers).
Result:
Distance: 1.6 Miles
Duration: 9 Minutes
Cost £: 3.52
Waiting Time £15.00 per hour

2) A journey from Oxford University Tennis Club to Oxford Railway Station next Monday 3rd January at 10am using a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle.
Result:
Distance: 1.6 Miles
Duration: 9 Minutes
Cost £: 5.60
Waiting Time £18.00 per hour

These are identical journeys except for one is in a wheelchair accessible vehicle, and one is in a standard vehicle. The journey with the WAV is 59% more expensive, and waiting time in a WAV is 20% more expensive.

This is clearly discriminatory.

You have previously indicated that you have created a S167 list of accessible taxis in your area. But I think you only include hackney carriages on the list, and not Private Hire vehicles. Please can you confirm if this is the case? If it is, please can you provide any recorded information that explains why you have failed to include WAV PHVs on your list?

Please can you give details of the processes your department follow to (attempt to) ensure that private hire operators and drivers do not charge wheelchair users more than non-wheelchair users?

Please can you provide me with all communications between yourselves and Royal Cars about their discriminatory pricing policy, also all other recorded information you hold as a result of the discriminatory pricing - for example, papers to your licensing committee, inter-officer communications and reports,

Should you not have such, please provide the Equality Impact Assessment of your decision not to challenge this discriminatory pricing.

Thank you

Doug Paulley

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Mr Paulley,

Thank you for your email below. Your request was received on 29th May 2019 and you will be sent a response within 20 working days (of receipt) in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Winfield
Freedom of Information Officer 

Kathryn Winfield | Freedom of Information Officer | Oxford City Council | Law and Governance |
St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS | Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

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freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

 
Dear Mr Paulley,
 
Further to the acknowledgement below, I can respond to your FOI request
received on 29th May 2019 as follows:
 
Please can you provide me with all communications between yourselves and
Royal Cars about their discriminatory pricing policy, also all other
recorded information you hold as a result of the discriminatory pricing -
for example, papers to your licensing committee, inter-officer
communications and reports.
 
The Authority is unable to comply with the request at this time.
 
The information you have requested is being used as evidence in a legal
investigation.  Therefore, I believe that it cannot be disclosed to you
and that the exemptions under s30 (Investigations and proceedings
conducted by public authorities) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
applies.
 
30 –(1) Information held by a public authority is exempt information if it
has at any time been held by the authority for
the purpose of –

 a. any investigation which the public authority has a duty to conduct
with a view to it being ascertained -

 

i. whether a person should be charged with an offence, or

 

ii. whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it,

 

 b. any investigation which is conducted by the authority and in the
circumstances may lead to a decision by the authority to institute
criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct, or

 c. any criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct.

 2. Information held by a public authority is exempt information if –

 a. it was obtained or recorded by the authority for the purposes of its
functions relating to –

 

i. investigations falling within subsection 1(a) or (b),

 

ii. criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct,

 

iii. investigations (other than investigations falling within subsection
(1)(a) or (b)) which are conducted by the authority for any of the
purposes specified in section 31(2) and either by virtue of Her
Majesty’s prerogative or by virtue of powers conferred by or under
any enactment, or

 

iv. civil proceedings which are brought by or on behalf of the authority
and arise out of such investigations, and

 

 b. it relates to the obtaining of information from confidential sources.

 3. The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to information
which is (or if it were held would be) exempt information by virtue of
subsection (1) or (2).

 
Please find comments to address the questions which did not fall within
the FOI request.
 
You have previously indicated that you have created a S167 list of
accessible taxis in your area. But I think you only include hackney
carriages on the list, and not Private Hire vehicles. Please can you
confirm if this is the case? If it is, please can you provide any recorded
information that explains why you have failed to include WAV PHVs on your
list?
 
The OCC List of wheelchair accessible vehicles designed for the purposes
of S167 include both Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles –
unfortunately there is not many PHV. The list is due to be reviewed this
month, which will show if the PHV fleet has increased in regards to WAV.
 
Please can you give details of the processes your department follow to
(attempt to) ensure that private hire operators and drivers do not charge
wheelchair users more than non-wheelchair users?
 
All licensees (drivers / operators) must attend a Safeguarding and
Disability Awareness Training which include the duties under the Equality
Act. Additional session and test is included in the Local Knowledge and
Safeguarding Test. Literature is included on our website as well as  the
Application Packs, which drivers and operators receive every year.
Furthermore, there are specific conditions attached to the Drivers Licence
addressing this matter.
 
 
If you disagree with any part of the response to your request, you are
entitled to ask the Council for an internal review of the decision(s)
made.  You may do this by writing to the Monitoring Officer, by either
email – [1][email address] – or by post to Monitoring Officer,
Oxford City Council, St Aldate’s Chambers, St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1DS. 
After the result of the internal review, if you remain dissatisfied, you
may ask the Information Commissioner to intervene on your behalf.  You may
do this by writing to the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Kathryn Winfield
Freedom of Information Officer 
 
Kathryn Winfield | Freedom of Information Officer | Oxford City Council |
Law and Governance |
St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS | Email:
[2][email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
 
 
 

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