Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality Act 2010

Doug Paulley made this Freedom of Information request to Birmingham City Council as part of a batch sent to 312 authorities

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 successful.

Dear Birmingham City Council,

1) Please advise if you have produced, or currently intend to produce, a list of wheelchair accessible:
a) taxis
and
b) private hire vehicles
under the powers set out in S167 of the Equality Act 2010.

2) Please identify how many a) taxi and b) PHV drivers have applied for medical / physical impairment exemption under S166 of the Equality Act 2010 since S166 was commenced. If you've created a list under S167, please identify how many of the exemptions were in place before S167 and how many have been put in since.

3) Please state whether you voluntarily compiled a list of accessible taxis and private hire vehicles following the Department for Transport's guidance of 15th September 2010, which stated, in relation to section 167, “although the list of designated vehicles will have no actual effect in law until the duties are commenced, we would urge licensing authorities to start maintaining a list as soon as possible for the purpose of liaising with the trade and issuing exemption certificates”. If you did produce such a voluntary list, please indicate when you did so, and provide the current list.

If you have produced a list of wheelchair accessible taxis and/or private hire vehicles under S167, or are going to, please tell me the following.

4) The date the list was instated or by which you intend to do so.

5) The accessibility requirements of a taxi for it to appear on the list.

6) How you intend to enforce drivers' compliance with S165.

7) The list.

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

REGFOI, Birmingham City Council

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request for Information

Reference No: FOI 16742

 

Thank you for your request, which was received on 19 April 2017, for
information held by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.  We will respond to you within 20 working days.

 

Where Birmingham City Council is the copyright holder of any information
that may be released, re-use for personal, educational or non-commercial
purposes is permitted without further reference to the City Council. Where
the re-use is for other purposes, such as commercial re-use, the applicant
should notify the City Council in writing to seek approval or agree terms
for re-use.

 

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact
me on 0121 303 9362, quoting the reference number above.

 

SENT ON BEHALF OF:

Regulation and Enforcement – FOI

Place Directorate

Birmingham City Council

PO Box 16586

Birmingham

B33 3EH

 

Tel:  0121 303 9362

Email:  [1][email address]

 

"Locally accountable and responsive fair regulation for all - achieving a
safe, healthy, clean, green and fair trading city for residents, business
and visitors"

[2]http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/regulatoryc...

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/regulatoryc...

REGFOI, Birmingham City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Paulley

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION – FOI 16742

 

I am writing in respect of your recent enquiry, detailed below, for
information held by the Authority under the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.    Please find our answers to your questions below.

 

1) Please advise if you have produced, or currently intend to produce, a
list of wheelchair accessible:

a) taxis

and

b) private hire vehicles

under the powers set out in S167 of the Equality Act 2010.

 

Birmingham City Council has a long standing policy of only licensing
purpose built wheelchair accessible hackney carriage vehicles as hackney
carriages. We do not licence saloon cars at all for that purpose. The
number of wheelchair accessible private hire vehicles is negligible and
for the most part these vehicles have been operated by private hire
operators in the fulfilment of NHS and similar contracts and consequently
are not necessarily available to the general public. Accordingly, since
2010 if asked to produce a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles we have
referred to the public register for hackney carriage vehicles as it
details all 1200+ wheelchair accessible hackney carriage vehicles licensed
by Birmingham.

 

Recently BCC has been approached by an operator interested in licensing
wheelchair accessible vehicles for general private hire use, which we are
keen to encourage. Rather than looking at this matter in isolation we will
invite the Licensing and Public Protection Committee to agree an
appropriate and up to date policy and standard for wheelchair accessible
private hire vehicles later this year. If that policy is agreed, we will
use it as the basis for commencing a formal list of wheelchair accessible
private hire vehicles as per S167 of the Equality Act 2010. As the
standard and requirement for hackney carriages has not changed we intend
to continue use of the full public register for hackney carriage vehicles
as the list of wheelchair accessible hackney vehicles.

 

 

2) Please identify how many a) taxi and b) PHV drivers have applied for
medical / physical impairment exemption under S166 of the Equality Act
2010 since S166 was commenced. If you've created a list under S167, please
identify how many of the exemptions were in place before S167 and how many
have been put in since.

 

Birmingham City Council licence approximately 1200 + hackney carriage
vehicles and drivers and approximately 5000 private hire vehicles and
drivers. Any application for medical/physical exemption under S166 of the
Equality Act 2010 has been dealt with by an Occupational Health Doctor. No
list has been created prior to S167 of the Act as the numbers making such
application has been so very low. Occupational Health propose to create a
list for hackney carriage and private hire drivers applying for
Medical/Physical impairments for carrying both wheelchair and assistance
dogs from April 2017. To date there have been no such applications.

 

3) Please state whether you voluntarily compiled a list of accessible
taxis and private hire vehicles following the Department for Transport's
guidance of 15th September 2010, which stated, in relation to section 167,
“although the list of designated vehicles will have no actual effect in
law until the duties are commenced, we would urge licensing authorities to
start maintaining a list as soon as possible for the purpose of liaising
with the trade and issuing exemption certificates”. If you did produce
such a voluntary list, please indicate when you did so, and provide the
current list.

 

Please see above.

 

If you have produced a list of wheelchair accessible taxis and/or private
hire vehicles under S167, or are going to, please tell me the following.

 

4)  The date the list was instated or by which you intend to do so.

 

For hackney carriages, the public register has been recognised as the list
of designated wheelchair accessible vehicles since the legislation was
introduced, but our requirement predates the legislation by more than ten
years.

 

5) The accessibility requirements of a taxi for it to appear on the list.

 

It must be a purpose built hackney carriage vehicle, built to the M1
standard, side loading and capable of accommodating a wheelchair properly
secured and facing forward or backward

 

6) How you intend to enforce drivers' compliance with S165.

 

Action by the Licensing Enforcement Team, as we do already in respect of
guide dogs, through investigation of complaints and using test purchasing.

 

7) The list.

 

Please see attached

 

If you are not satisfied with the response you may ask for an internal
review.  To do this, please contact Birmingham City Council's central FOI
Team at this address:

 

Corporate DP/FOI Team

Performance and Information (WS)

PO Box 16366

Birmingham

B2 2YY

 

Tel:  0121 303 4876

Email:  [1][Birmingham City Council request email]

 

If subsequently you are not satisfied with the Council’s decision you may
apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO
cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure
provided by the Council. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at
the following address:

 

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 01625 545745

Web Address: [2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Data Protection Act 1998

The information you have provided within your Freedom of Information
request will be held on our database and may also be held within manual
records for a period of 2 years from the date Birmingham City Council
received your request. Any personal data that you provide to Birmingham
City Council will be held in line with the requirements set out within the
Data Protection Act 1998.

 

Re use of Public Sector Information

The information provided is subject to Birmingham City Council copyright,
however, it may be re-used for personal, educational or non-commercial
purposes without further reference to the City Council. If the re-use is
for other purposes, such as commercial re-use, you should notify the City
Council in writing to seek approval or agree terms for re-use. Where
Birmingham City Council does not hold the copyright, it has indicated the
copyright holder. Permission for re-use should be sought from them
directly.

 

SENT ON BEHALF OF:

Regulation and Enforcement – FOI

Place Directorate

Birmingham City Council

PO Box 16586

Birmingham

B33 3EH

 

Tel:  303 9361

Email:  [3][email address]

 

"Locally accountable and responsive fair regulation for all - achieving a
safe, healthy, clean, green and fair trading city for residents, business
and visitors"

 

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Birmingham City Council request email]
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
3. mailto:[email address]

Dear REGFOI,

Thank you for the information, I applaud your approach to accessibility of vehicles.

I don't think your taxis are covered by S167 or S165 of the List, however, for the following reasons.

The DFT's statutory guidance has this to say about S167: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

"Before drivers can be subject to the duties under section 165 of the Act, the LA must first publish their list of designated vehicles, and clearly mark it as ‘designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Act’. LAs should ensure that their designated lists are made easily available to passengers, and that vehicle owners and drivers are made aware. Lists should set out the details of the make and model of the vehicle, together with specifying whether the vehicle is a taxi or private hire vehicle, and stating the name of operator."

Your list is not marked (clearly or otherwise) as 'designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Act'. It also doesn't list the make and model of the vehicle.

It is my understanding that it therefore doesn't have the force of S167 of the Act, and therefore doesn't put drivers under the obligations set out in S165 of the Act. So I think your response to my question as to whether you have a S167 list must regretfully be "no", unless and until you go through the hoop-jumping of creating a "S167 list".

Some other licensing authorities whom have 100% wheelchair accessible taxi fleets are going through the bureaucratic hoop-jumping of creating a S167 list, purely to bring this into force.

In the light of this, please could you revisit my request as to whether you have a S167 list, whether you intend to have one, and if so by when?

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Dear Birmingham City Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Birmingham City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality Act 2010'.

The DFT's statutory guidance has this to say about S167: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

"Before drivers can be subject to the duties under section 165 of the Act, the LA must first publish their list of designated vehicles, and clearly mark it as ‘designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Act’. LAs should ensure that their designated lists are made easily available to passengers, and that vehicle owners and drivers are made aware. Lists should set out the details of the make and model of the vehicle, together with specifying whether the vehicle is a taxi or private hire vehicle, and stating the name of operator."

Your list is not marked (clearly or otherwise) as 'designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Act'. It also doesn't list the make and model of the vehicle.

It is my understanding that it therefore doesn't have the force of S167 of the Act, and therefore doesn't put drivers under the obligations set out in S165 of the Act. So I think your response to my question as to whether you have a S167 list must regretfully be "no", unless and until you go through the hoop-jumping of creating a "S167 list".

Some other licensing authorities whom have 100% wheelchair accessible taxi fleets are going through the bureaucratic hoop-jumping of creating a S167 list, purely to bring this into force.

In the light of this, please could you revisit my request as to whether you have a S167 list, whether you intend to have one, and if so by when?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

REGFOI, Birmingham City Council

 

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request for Information

Reference No: 16957

 

Thank you for your request, which was received on 25^th  May 2017, for
information held by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.  We will respond to you within 20 working days.

 

Where Birmingham City Council is the copyright holder of any information
that may be released, re-use for personal, educational or non-commercial
purposes is permitted without further reference to the City Council. Where
the re-use is for other purposes, such as commercial re-use, the applicant
should notify the City Council in writing to seek approval or agree terms
for re-use.

 

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact
me on 0121 303 9361, quoting the reference number above

 

SENT ON BEHALF OF:

Regulation and Enforcement – FOI

Place Directorate

Birmingham City Council

PO Box 16586

Birmingham

B33 3EH

 

Tel: 0121 303 9360

Email: [1][email address]

 

"Locally accountable and responsive fair regulation for all - achieving a
safe, healthy, clean, green and fair trading city for residents, business
and visitors"

[2]http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/regulatoryc...

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/regulatoryc...

REGFOI, Birmingham City Council

 

 

 

Dear Mr Paulley

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION – FOI 16957

 

I am writing in respect of your recent enquiry, detailed below, for
information held by the Authority under the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.  Please see our responses to your questions below.

 

REQUEST

 

I am writing to request an internal review of Birmingham City Council's
handling of my FOI request 'Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality
Act 2010'.

 

The DFT's statutory guidance has this to say about S167:
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

 

"Before drivers can be subject to the duties under section 165 of the Act,
the LA must first publish their list of designated vehicles, and clearly
mark it as ‘designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Act’. LAs
should ensure that their designated lists are made easily available to
passengers, and that vehicle owners and drivers are made aware. Lists
should set out the details of the make and model of the vehicle, together
with specifying whether the vehicle is a taxi or private hire vehicle, and
stating the name of operator."

 

Your list is not marked (clearly or otherwise) as 'designated for the
purposes of section 165 of the Act'. It also doesn't list the make and
model of the vehicle.

 

It is my understanding that it therefore doesn't have the force of S167 of
the Act, and therefore doesn't put drivers under the obligations set out
in S165 of the Act. So I think your response to my question as to whether
you have a S167 list must regretfully be "no", unless and until you go
through the hoop-jumping of creating a "S167 list".

 

Some other licensing authorities whom have 100% wheelchair accessible taxi
fleets are going through the bureaucratic hoop-jumping of creating a S167
list, purely to bring this into force.

 

In the light of this, please could you revisit my request as to whether
you have a S167 list, whether you intend to have one, and if so by when?

 

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on
the Internet at this address:
[2]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...

 

 

RESPONSE

 

You are absolutely correct the public register alone would not qualify as
a Section 165 list and we are aware of this, whilst the list of vehicles
included in the public register of Hackney Carriages will form the basis
for the new list, we know additional information must be included. I must
apologise for not having made that clear in the previous response.

 

One of our officers is preparing a report for the Licensing and Public
Protection Committee (LPPC) to bring our current arrangements into line
with the Statutory Guidance. We do hold the information in respect of
make, model etc of vehicles, however that does not form part of the
public register and must be included in a modified version of the report
which will become the Sec 165 list. It is intended to report the
transitional arrangements, which will create a compliant list as well as
informing the vehicle proprietors and drivers, to LPPC at its July 2017
meeting. Ideally this will be the same meeting where we seek agreement
on policy to cover new wheelchair accessible private hire vehicles as
referred to in our earlier response.

 

In Birmingham, we take the provision of services to disabled passengers
seriously.  Since 2003 all applicants for Hackney Carriage and private
hire licences have had to undertake disability awareness training and our
enforcement officers have successfully prosecuted drivers for refusal to
carry assistance dogs. We intend to ensure Sec167 will apply to our
drivers (unless exempted) and that our enforcement officers will be able
to take formal action in respect of failures to accommodate wheelchair
passengers.

 

If you are not satisfied with the response you may ask for an internal
review.  To do this, please contact Birmingham City Council's central FOI
Team at this address:

 

Corporate DP/FOI Team

Performance and Information (WS)

PO Box 16366

Birmingham

B2 2YY

 

Tel:  0121 303 4876

Email:  [3][Birmingham City Council request email]

 

If subsequently you are not satisfied with the Council’s decision you may
apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO
cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure
provided by the Council. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at
the following address:

 

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 01625 545745

Web Address: [4]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Data Protection Act 1998

The information you have provided within your Freedom of Information
request will be held on our database and may also be held within manual
records for a period of 2 years from the date Birmingham City Council
received your request. Any personal data that you provide to Birmingham
City Council will be held in line with the requirements set out within the
Data Protection Act 1998.

 

Re use of Public Sector Information

The information provided is subject to Birmingham City Council copyright,
however, it may be re-used for personal, educational or non-commercial
purposes without further reference to the City Council. If the re-use is
for other purposes, such as commercial re-use, you should notify the City
Council in writing to seek approval or agree terms for re-use. Where
Birmingham City Council does not hold the copyright, it has indicated the
copyright holder. Permission for re-use should be sought from them
directly.

 

SENT ON BEHALF OF:

Regulation and Enforcement – FOI

Place Directorate

Birmingham City Council

PO Box 16586

Birmingham

B33 3EH

 

Tel: 0121 303 9360

Email: [5][email address]

 

"Locally accountable and responsive fair regulation for all - achieving a
safe, healthy, clean, green and fair trading city for residents, business
and visitors"

[6]http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/regulatoryc...

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy
2. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...
3. mailto:[Birmingham City Council request email]
4. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
5. mailto:[email address]
6. http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/regulatoryc...