Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality Act 2010

The request was successful.

Dear Norwich 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

CIVICA MAILBOXES, Norwich City Council

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Dear CIVICA MAILBOXES,

Where is the response to my FOI request please? Over 20 working days have passed.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Norwich City Council - FOI Enquiries, Norwich City Council

Dear Mr Paulley

Please find below our response to your Freedom of Information request regarding Taxis with Disabled Access.

Norwich city council intend to produce a list of wheelchair accessible hackney carriage and private hire vehicles under the powers set out in S167 of the Equality Act 2010.
(a) Hackney carriage drivers – 0 (b) Private hire drivers – 0. Two exemptions in place for hackney carriage drivers before S 167, none since.
No list compiled.
Within 6 months of implementation of S 167.
With effect from 1 January 1991 the council adopted a vehicle specification for hackney carriages which included the requirement for wheelchair accessibility. All hackney carriages meet the requirements of wheelchair accessibility, so will appear on the list. A copy of the specification is attached.
By information, education and enforcement action in respect of non-compliance, e.g. suspension / revocation of drivers licence where complaints are proven.
Not yet produced.

Unless otherwise indicated our data is being offered under the Open Government Licencefor public sector information.

A copy of the licence is available on our website.

Please make sure you read this and understand the responsibilities of the licence.

Kind Regards

FOI Team
Norwich City Council
Tel: 0344 980 3333
Email: [Norwich City Council request email]

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FOI QUERIES, Norwich City Council

Dear Mr Paulley

Please find below our response to your Freedom of Information request
regarding List of accessible taxis

1) The Government guidance states: "Whilst LAs are under no specific legal
obligation to maintain a list under section 167, the Government recommends
strongly that they do so. Without such a list the requirements of section
165 of the Act do not apply, and drivers may continue to refuse the
carriage of wheelchair users, fail to provide them with assistance, or to
charge them extra."
Please can you indicate whether you do now have a list of wheelchair
accessible taxis under your powers set out in Section 167 of the Equality
Act 2010, and/or a list of wheelchair accessible private hire vehicles?

        A: No

2) If you do now have such a list, please provide information in response
to the following questions 2a) to 2j):
2a) On what date was it put in place?
2b) The statutory guidance states "The Government therefore recommends
that a vehicle should only be included in the authorityÂ’s (S167) list if
it would be possible for the user of a “reference wheelchair” to enter,
leave and travel in the passenger compartment in safety and reasonable
comfort whilst seated in their wheelchair."
Is this the definition you have used for a taxi or PHV to be considered
wheelchair accessible for the purposes of the list?

2c) The statutory guidance states: "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 ActÂ’. 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."
Have you published your list? Is it marked "designated for the purposes of
Section 165 of the Act"? Is the make and model of each vehicle listed? Is
each vehicle identified as a taxi or a private hire vehicle? Is the name
of the operator of each vehicle given in the list? Have you made owners
and drivers of vehicles on the list aware that their vehicle has been
listed?

2d) The guidance states: "it would also be helpful to include information
about the size and weight of wheelchair that can be accommodated, and
whether wheelchairs that are larger than a “reference wheelchair” can be
accommodated."
Does your list include information on each vehicle as to the size and
weight of wheelchair that can be accommodated, and whether wheelchairs
larger than a "reference wheelchair" can be accommodated?

2e) The guidance states: "We encourage LAs to provide drivers of taxis and
PHVs who are not exempt from the duties with clear guidance on their
duties with respect to the carriage of passengers in wheelchairs, either
as part of existing driver-facing guidance, or as supplementary
communication."
Have you provided non-exempt taxi/PHV drivers with such guidance?

2f) The guidance states: "We recommend that licensing authority rules for
drivers are updated to make clear when a meter can and cannot be left
running".
Have you updated such rules to make this clear?

2g) The guidance states: "Section 172 of the Act enables vehicle owners to
appeal against the decision of a LA to include their vehicles on the
designated list. That appeal should be made to the MagistrateÂ’s Court, or
in Scotland the sheriff, and must be made within 28 days of the vehicle in
question being included on the LAÂ’s published list."
Please tell me how many such applications have been made to the
Magistrates Court, and how many have been successful.

2h) How many drivers has the authority prosecuted for discriminatory
behaviour contrary to S165 of the Act? How many such prosecutions were
successful? What were the sentences?

2i) How many drivers licensed by yourselves have been prosecuted by other
people or bodies for failure to comply with S165 of the Act? How many such
prosecutions were successful? What were the sentences?

2j) Where drivers have been prosecuted under S165 of the Act, thus
affecting their standing as a "fit and proper person", what resultant
disciplinary action have you taken in respect of their taxi or private
hire vehicle drivers' licenses?

3) If you do not have a S167 list or lists now, please indicate if you
still intend to produce such a list.

        A: There is no confirmed decision on this matter.

4) If you don't have a S167 list but do intend to produce one, please
provide information in response to questions 4a) and 4b) below.
4a) Please indicate when you intend to have the list in place.

        A: There is no confirmed timescale for this.

4b) Where you have already made relevant decisions, please indicate
whether you intend to comply with the elements of the statutory guidance
set out in 2b) to 2f) above.

        A: N/A

5) Irrespective of whether you have created a list or not or indeed
whether you intend to create such a list, since 2010 you have been obliged
to process applications under Section 166 of the Equality Act for driver
medical exemptions from the duty to transport and not discriminate against
wheelchair users. The Guidance states; "the Act allows LAs to grant
exemptions from the duties to individual drivers. These provisions are
contained in section 166, and were commenced on 1st October 2010."

5a) How many exemptions have you granted under S166 of the Equality Act
2010?

        A: 2, however only one of these is current, the other driver no
longer holds a licence.

5b) The guidance states: "We understand that some licensing authorities
have already put in place procedures for accessing and exempting drivers,
and as an absolute minimum, we think that the evidence provided should be
in the form of a letter or report from a general practitioner."
Do you accept or require a letter or report from a GP to process
applications for driver exemption under S166?

        A: Yes

5c) The guidance states: "The GovernmentÂ’s view is that decisions on
exemptions will be fairer and more objective if medical assessments are
undertaken by professionals who have been specifically trained and who are
independent of the applicant. We would recommend that independent medical
assessors are used where a long-term exemption is to be issued, and that
LAs use assessors who hold appropriate professional qualifications and who
are not open to bias because of a personal or commercial connection to the
applicant"
Have you appointed independent medical assessors to determine applications
for medical exemption under S166?

        A: No

5d) Please provide a copy of your application form for driver exemption
under S166.

        A: There is no specified application form.

5e) The guidance states: "Section 172 of the Act enables drivers to appeal
against the decision of a LA not to issue an exemption certificate. That
appeal should be made to the MagistrateÂ’s Court, or a sheriff in
Scotland, and must be made within 28 days beginning with the date of the
refusal."
How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions have been heard?

        A: None

5f) How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions were
successful?

        A: N/A

6) The guidance states: "We would therefore recommend that LAs also
publish a list of vehicles that are accessible to passengers in
wheelchairs who are able to transfer from their wheelchair into a seat
within the vehicle. It should be made clear however that this list of
vehicles has not been published for the purposes of section 165 of the Act
and drivers of those vehicles are therefore not subject to the legal
duties to provide assistance."
Do you currently publish a list of vehicles that are accessible to
passengers in wheelchairs who are able to transfer from their wheelchairs
into a seat within the vehicle?

        A: No.

Unless otherwise indicated our data is being offered under the Open
Government Licence for public sector information.

A copy of the licence is available on our website at
[1]https://www.norwich.gov.uk/foi

Please make sure you read this and understand the responsibilities of the
licence.

Kind Regards

FOI Team

Norwich City Council

Tel: 0344 980 3333

Email: [2][Norwich City Council request email]

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References

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1. https://www.norwich.gov.uk/foi
2. mailto:[Norwich City Council request email]

Doug Paulley left an annotation ()

That latest response relates to this: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

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