Availability of Wheelchair Accessible Taxis/PHVs

Dick Fowler made this Freedom of Information request to Dumfries and Galloway Council

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

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Dumfries and Galloway Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Dumfries and Galloway 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

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 21/08/2017 which we are dealing with in terms of the above legislation. We have given your request the unique reference 273628 and we would appreciate it if you could quote this on all correspondence to us.

Under the terms of the legislation, we have an obligation to respond to your request within 20 working days from the day after your request was received. We will therefore aim to respond to your request by 18/09/2017.

Please be aware that, in some circumstances, a fee may be payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of the information you have requested. If this is the case, a fees notice will be issued, which would need to be paid in order to progress your request.

If your request for information is considered and deemed as a 'business as usual' request, it will be responded to by the appropriate Service within the Council.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact [email address].

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,
your ref 273628
your reply is overdue. please advise.

Yours faithfully,

Dick Fowler

FOI, Dumfries and Galloway Council

Mr Fowler

We're sorry for the delay, the Licensing service is aware of this and is working to complete the response as soon as possible.

Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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