Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality Act 2010

The request was partially successful.

Dear Transport for London,

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

FOI, Transport for London

 

 

Dear Mr Paulley

 

TfL Ref: FOI-0136-1718

 

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 19
April 2017 asking for information about Taxi and Private Hire vehicles.

 

Your request will be processed by the Greater London Authority, TfL and
its subsidiaries to provide you with a response in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy.

 

A response will be sent to you by 18 May. We publish a substantial range
of information on our website on subjects including operational
performance, contracts, expenditure, journey data, governance and our
financial performance. This includes data which is frequently asked for in
FOI requests or other public queries. Please check
[1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/transpar... to see if this helps you.

 

We will publish anonymised versions of requests and responses on the
[2]www.tfl.gov.uk website. We will not publish your name and we will send
a copy of the response to you before it is published on our website.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Lee Hill

Senior FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

 

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FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

 

Dear Mr Paulley

 

TfL Ref: FOI-0136-1718

 

Thank you for your email received on 19 April asking about our
requirements under the Equality Act 2010.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act and our Information Access Policy. I can
confirm that we hold some of the information you have requested. For ease
of reference I have answered your questions as you have posed them.

 

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.

 

Please see the information and list provided on our website
[1]www.tfl.gov.uk/tph-access.

 

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.

 

Our records of the total number of taxi and private hire drivers who have
received an exemption under Section 166 of the Equality Act 2010 date back
to when we started keeping electronic records in September 2013. That
information is as follows:

 

  Taxi driver Private hire driver Total
No. of applications received 51 4 55
Exemption granted 48 2 50
Exemption refused 2 2 4
Pending 1 0 1

 

Currently, there are three private hire drivers and 47 taxi drivers who
are actively licensed and hold an exemption, under Section 166 of the
Equality Act 2010, from their duties to assist passengers in wheelchairs
on medical grounds.

 

One application has been received following the enactment of section 167.
This application is currently being accessed and is marked as pending in
the above table.

 

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.

 

We began the process of implementing policy and compiling a list of
vehicles to be designated following the Department for Transport’s
guidance in 2010. However, this list was not published until 5 April 2017,
prior to the commencement in full of sections 165 and 167 of the Act on 6
April.

 

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.

 

This Information was published on 5 April 2017. Please visit our website
for further details: [2]www.tfl.gov.uk/tph-access.

 

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

 

All taxis licensed by TfL have to meet the specific accessibility
requirements set out in the Conditions of Fitness which can be found at
[3]http://content.tfl.gov.uk/taxi-condition....

 

We follow the government recommendations as outlined in the Department for
Transport publication - Access for wheelchair users to Taxi and Private
Hire Vehicles,
[4]www.gov.uk/government/publications/access-for-wheelchair-users-to-taxis-and-private-hire-vehicles.
Please refer to section 3.5 in particular.

 

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

Transport for London compliance officers are deployed across London and
carry out random checks to ensure that any wheelchair accessible equipment
is in working order and that drivers know how to use it. We also
investigate complaints made against taxi drivers (and private hire drivers
with dedicated wheelchair accessible vehicles) who fail to comply with
this legislation. We would always seek to prosecute and/or take licensing
action where we have evidence of an offence being committed.

 

In addition, every vehicle is checked at least once a year at one of our
vehicle inspection centres. If a wheelchair accessible vehicle is found to
have defective equipment it would need to be fixed before it can be used
to carry passengers.

 

We also issue guidance to both drivers and vehicle owners through our
communication channels to licensees.

 

7) The list.

 

Please see my answer to question one.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would
like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Lee Hill

Senior FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

 

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Dear Transport for London,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Transport for London's handling of my FOI request 'Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality Act 2010'.

In response to my request:

"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."

and for a copy of htat list,

You directed me to your website at https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/taxis-and-pr... which states:

"All taxis in London are wheelchair-accessible and have been designated as such under Section 167 of the Equality Act 2010."

and to this list of PHVs:

https://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/docume...

That doesn't provide the information I requested.

The DFT's statutory guidance has this to say about S167:

"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."

"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."

Do you have a list clearly marked "designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Act"? Is it published, does it solely list accessible vehicles, does it include the make, model, license type (taxi or PHV) and the name of the operator? If you do then you have a S167 list.

Your statement "all taxis in London are wheelchair-accessible and have been designated as such under Section 167 of the Equality Act 2010" does not constitue a S167 list and therefore does not put your taxi drivers under the duties set out in S165. Your list of PHVs is not marked 'designated for the purpsoes of section 165 of the Act' and doesn't state the name of the operator. It is therefore not a valid S167 list and doesn't place drivers under the duties set under S165.

It therefore seems to me that the only proper answer you can give to my Q1 is that you don't currently have any valid S167 list of taxis or PHVs. Please therefore tell me whether you intend to do so, and if so when.

In response to Q2, you state that you have had one S166 exemption application since you produced a S167 list. But you haven't produced a valid S167 list, so this doesn't make sense.

In response to "4) 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 date the list was instated or by which you intend to do so" you state "This information was published on 5 April 2017". But you haven't published a valid S167 list, so this isn't what I asked. Therefore please tell me when you intend to do so.

In response to "How you intend to enforce drivers' compliance with S165" you stated "We also investigate complaints made against taxi drivers (and private hire drivers with dedicated wheelchair accessible vehicles) who fail to comply with this legislation. We would always seek to prosecute and/or take licensing
action where we have evidence of an offence being committed."

This doesn't make sense because you won't be able to prosecute any driver under S165 of the Act unless and until you have produced a valid S167 list.

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

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Paulley

 

TfL Ref:          IRV-027-1718

 

Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received on 24
May 2017.

 

You have stated that you are dissatisfied with the handling of your
request for information under the Freedom of Information Act and that the
response to your request was incomplete.

 

The review will be conducted by an internal review panel in accordance
with TfL’s Internal Review Procedure, which is available via the following
URL:

 

[1]http://content.tfl.gov.uk/internal-revie...

 

Every effort will be made to provide you with a response by 22 June 2017.
However, if the review will not be completed by this date, we will contact
you and notify you of the revised response date as soon as possible.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
feel free to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Jacob

Information Access Advisor

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[2][TfL request email]

 

 

 

 

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Dear FOI,

I have requested a S50 assessment in the following terms.

hello ICO,

Please conduct a S50 assessment of the FOI request at https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...

on the following basis.

I asked whether TFL have produced s167 lists of taxis and of private
hire vehicles. They responded with a simple statement that all of
their taxis are accessible and so subject to S167, and with a list of
PHVs.

The problem is that neither of these comply with the technical
requirements of S167 lists as specified by the statutory guidance
produced by the Department for Transport. Unless and until they create
lists that are compliant with the DFT's guidance, they aren't S167
lists.

The information they have provided to me in response to my FOI request
is therefore inaccurate and not the information I requested.

They also haven't responded to my request for internal review.

Thank you

Doug Paulley

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Mike Whitaker left an annotation ()

Why do you say that they haven't responded to your request for an internal review. I can clearly see such a response saying that they hoped to respond by 22/06/2017. The clock has only just ticked over onto that date. I think you should have given them another day at least before troubling the ICO.

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Paulley

 

TfL Ref:          IRV-027-1718

 

I am contacting you regarding the internal review of your request for
information about accessible taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs).

 

This review has been carried out by an independent panel following your
e-mail of 24 May 2017 regarding the response to your request for
information under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. The review was
carried out by an independent Review Panel (‘the Panel’) consisting of
individuals who were not involved in the handling of your request.

 

Your initial request for information asked for information on wheelchair
accessible taxis and PHVs, including a list of these vehicles.

 

A response was issued to you on 17 May 2017 and advised that information
and a list was available on our [1]website. The information on the website
states, ‘All taxis in London are wheelchair-accessible and have been
designated as such under Section 167 of the Equality Act 2010’ and a list
of PHVs is also given.

 

The Panel have reviewed the handling of your original request and
concluded that as we have provided the information requested via the link
there is no further action required on your request. The question of
whether the list has been produced ‘under the powers set out in S167 of
the Equality Act 2010’ is not subject to FOI as it is not a request for
recorded information. I understand that you will be contacted separately
on this matter.

 

I hope this information is of assistance. If you are dissatisfied with the
outcome of this internal review, you can refer the matter to the
independent authority responsible for enforcing the Freedom of Information
Act at the following address:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

A complaint form is available on the ICO’s website ([2]www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Jacob

Information Access Advisor

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[3][TfL request email]

 

 

 

 

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Dear FOI,

I have repeated my S50 request to the ICO, in the following terms.

BTW, no matter how much you believe or wish that your S167 statement comprises a list for the purposes of S165 and S167 of the Act, it doesn't. It's not a list.

Hello ICO,

Thank you, they have now responded but I remain dissatisfied with
their handling of my request.

Their response to my request for internal review is at
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...
.

I asked whether TFL have produced s167 lists of taxis and of private
hire vehicles. They responded with a simple statement that all of
their taxis are accessible and so subject to S167, and with a list of
PHVs.

The problem is that neither of these comply with the technical
requirements of S167 lists as specified by the statutory guidance
produced by the Department for Transport. Unless and until they create
lists that are compliant with the DFT's guidance, they aren't S167
lists; and they have therefore supplied me incorrect information.

The authority is obliged to have due regard to the guidance, under
S167(6) and (7) of the Equality Act 2010, which states:

> The Secretary of State may issue guidance to licensing authorities as to—
>
> (a) the accessibility requirements which they should apply for the
> purposes of this section;
>
> (b) any other aspect of their functions under or by virtue of this
> section.
>
> (7) A licensing authority which maintains a list under subsection
> (1) must have regard to any guidance issued under subsection (6).

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010...

I attach the Statutory Guidance. In Section 1.2 it confirms it is
statutory guidance to which authorities must have regard:

> This is a statutory guidance document, issued under section 167(6)
> of the Equality Act 2010 and constitutes the Secretary of State’s
> formal guidance to LAs in England, Wales and Scotland on the
> application of sections 165 to 167 of the Equality Act 2010. LAs
> must have regard to this guidance document.

Sections 3.9 and 3.10 of the Guidance state:

> 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.

The guidance makes no exception for authorities whose licensed taxi
fleet is 100% accessible. Neither does S165 of the Act, which states:

> For the purposes of this section—
>
> (a)a taxi or private hire vehicle is “designated” if it appears on
> a list maintained under section 167;

It is impossible to get away from the fact that "designation" under
S167 of the Act requires an actual list of designated taxis.

TFL does not produce a S167 list of designated taxis.

On their website at
https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/taxis-and-pr...,
they simply declare:

> All taxis in London are wheelchair-accessible and have been
> designated as such under Section 167 of the Equality Act 2010.

This isn't a list of designated taxis.

This does not comply with the obligations of S165 or S167 of the Act,
or with the Statutory Guidance. It isn't a list. Without that list,
TFL don't comply with S167 and thus S165 is not engaged.

I guess it is possible that they have a S167 list of taxis "behind the
scenes". However I specifically requested that list as part of my FOI
request (Q7), but they didn't provide it, they simply referred me to
their website. It is clear that they think the statement on their
website actually is a S167 list of designated taxis.

I would suggest that the accurate response to my request for
information as to whether they currently have a S167 taxi list is
"no", whether they intend to have a list is "no" and for a copy of the
list should be "information not held". I say this because I
specifically asked for the list of taxis. What they provided was a
statement and not a list of taxis.

In response to my request for information as to whether they hold, or
intend to hold, a S167 list of Private Hire vehicles, they referred me
to their list at
https://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/docume...
. However this does not comply with the requirements set out in the
statutory guidance that the list should include, for each car, the
name of its operator. It is therefore not a valid list. I suggest that
TFL's response to my FOI request is also incorrect in that they state
they have a S167 list of private hire vehicles; whereas they should
have responded that they don't have such a list, don't intend to have
such a list and that they are unable to provide me with a copy of that
list because they don't have one.

These fundamental issues mean that the information TFL has provided to
me in response to my FOI request is not the information I requested.
They have failed to comply with S1 of the Act in that they have not
provided the information I requested, stated that it didn't exist or
cited a relevant exemption (or any combination of these for the
various elements of my request.)

Please conduct a S50 assessment.

Thank you

Doug Paulley

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

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