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Availability of Wheelchair Accessible Taxis/PHVs

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Dear Aberdeen City 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 2016 Scottish statistics. .
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 in England, 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

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Fowler

 

Information enquiry reference FOI-17-1212.

 

Thank you for your recent request for information, which we received on 21
August 2017.   

 

The scheduled date for our response to your request for information is on
or before 18 September 2017.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries in the
meantime.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Gail Halfyard

 

 

Information Compliance Team
Customer Service
Corporate Governance
Aberdeen City Council
3rd Floor North

Business Hub 17
Marischal College
Broad Street
ABERDEEN AB10 1AQ

[1][Aberdeen City Council request email]

Tel 03000 200 292

 

*03000 numbers are free to call if you have ‘free minutes’ included in
your mobile call plan.

Calls from BT landlines will be charged at the local call rate of 10.24p
per minute (the same as 01224s).

[2]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Aberdeen City Council request email]
2. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Fowler

 

Please accept our sincerest apologies for the delay in responding to your
information request of 20 August 2017.  Aberdeen City Council (ACC) has
completed the necessary search for the information requested.

 

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 2016 Scottish statistics.

Wheelchair Accessible Taxis – 457

Other Taxis – 486

Wheelchair Accessible PHVs – 0

Other PHVs – 270

 

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;

Current ACC policy requires all taxis to be WAV by 06 June 2018.

 

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

These currently do not require a licensed vehicle (exempt under Civic
Government (Scotland) Act 1982).

 

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

It is up to individual operators/licence holders to advertise their
business, it is not a licensing function to advertise taxis.

 

d) operators refusal of prebookings;

We have received 2 complaints since 2014 stating this was the case.

 

e) operators refusal to carry wheelchairs;

We have received 1 complaint since 2014 stating this was the case.

 

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

Out of 1433 licensed taxi drivers we have 57 with current exemptions - 4%

 

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

We have no data or means of obtaining data to answer this question.

 

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

We have no data or means of obtaining data to answer this question.

 

ACC is unable to provide you with information on LA (eg SEN, schools,
social care) and NHS (eg goods, staff ,NEPTS etc ) contracts, not making
all WAV operators booking/ contact details publically available,
significantly more people relative to resident population eg commuters,
tourists, passengers in transit and private contracts, driver rest,
vehicle repair and maintenance etc as it is not held by ACC.  In order to
comply with its obligations under the terms of Section 17 of the FOISA,
ACC hereby gives notice that this information is not held by it. 

 

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).

Please find attached a list of named current Taxi and Private Hire
Operators including licence numbers. Unfortunately we are unable to
provide addresses of individuals; therefore addresses listed are for
companies only. Our records do not specify whether they are WAV operators.

 

ACC is unable to provide you with information on the address of licence
holders where this is the home address of individuals who are not
companies as it is exempt from disclosure. In order to comply with its
obligations under the terms of Section 16 of the FOISA, ACC hereby gives
notice that we are refusing your request under the terms of Section
38(1)(b) in conjunction with 38(2)(a)(i) – Personal Information – of the
FOISA.

 

In making this decision ACC considered the following points:

 

ACC is of the opinion that Section 38(1)(b) applies to the information
specified above as the information in question is personal information
relating to living individuals, of which the applicant is not the data
subject.

 

ACC is of the opinion that Section 38(2)(a)(i) applies, as we consider
that disclosure of this information would be a breach of the first Data
Protection Principle (that personal information must be processed fairly
and lawfully). Consent to disclose this information has not been received
from these individuals and ACC does not consider that they would expect
ACC to release this information about them into the public domain under
the FOISA.

 

ACC is unable to provide you with information on contact details for all
WAV operators as it is not held by ACC.  In order to comply with its
obligations under the terms of Section 17 of the FOISA, ACC hereby gives
notice that this information is not held by it. 

 

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 arrangements. If these companies require this information it is for
them to determine how they obtain it.

 

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?;

No. Details for registered licence holders can be requested from ACC
however it must be noted that our records do not specify whether they are
WAV operators.

 

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

We have no information that WAVs are harder to obtain at any particular
time.

 

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

The licence conditions and tariffs set by ACC prohibit any additional
charge for this or the use of a WAV.

 

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 value for money studies have been conducted. We have had our school
transport audited in 2014 with a positive outcome that best value was
being met. We take part in UK wide benchmarking surveys every year
through the Association of Transport Coordinating Officers. The total
school transport spend is approximately £2.7M per annum.

 

We hope this helps with your request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Compliance Team

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE HANDLING OF YOUR REQUEST

 

ACC handled your request for information in accordance with the provisions
of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Please refer to the
attached PDF for more information about your rights under FOISA.

 

 

Information Compliance Team

Customer Service

Corporate Governance
Aberdeen City Council
3rd Floor North

Business Hub 17
Marischal College
Broad Street
ABERDEEN AB10 1AQ

[1][Aberdeen City Council request email]

Tel 03000 200 292

 

*03000 numbers are free to call if you have ‘free minutes’ included in
your mobile call plan.

Calls from BT landlines will be charged at the local call rate of 10.24p
per minute (the same as 01224s).

[2]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Aberdeen City Council request email]
2. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

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