Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality Act 2010

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

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The request was successful.

Dear Warrington Borough 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

FOI, Warrington Borough Council

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References

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1. http://www.warrington2021.com/

Leah, Jill, Warrington Borough Council

Good Afternoon

I acknowledge that your request for information (as below) has been received.

A response should be sent to you within 20 working days of receipt of your request, therefore you should be sent a response by Thursday 18th May 2017.

Should you need anything further please let me know.

Kind regards.

J Leah
Economic Regeneration, Growth & Environment

Warrington Borough Council
New Town House
Buttermarket Street
Warrington
Cheshire
WA1 2NH

01925 442767
[email address]

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Sharkey, Caroline, Warrington Borough Council

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Paulley

Further to your request, please see attached letter and information as requested.

If you have any further queries regarding this information then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Caroline Sharkey
Licensing Team Manager
Regulation and Protection
Warrington Borough Council
New Town House
Buttermarket Street
Warrington
Cheshire
WA1 2NH

TEL: 01925 444051
MOB: 07740075762
FAX: 01925 442564
EMAIL: [email address]
WEB: www.warrington.gov.uk

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Dear Sharkey, Caroline,

Please can I request clarification;

I asked:

"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."

Your response - "I can confirm that Warrington Borough Council has produced a list of wheelchair accessible Hackney and Private Hire vehicles." - doesn't make sense given the other information you have provided.

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."

The list you provided doesn't meet the above obligations, and neither does the one on your website at https://www.warrington.gov.uk/download/d... .

Do you have a list clearly marked "designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Act", is it published, 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. If you don't then you don't have such a list.

If you have a S167 list then the response to "If you have produced a list of wheelchair accessible taxis and/or private hire vehicles under S167, or are going to, please tell me 4) The date the list was instated or by which you intend to do so" - "September 2016" can't be correct. S167 was only commenced on 6th April 2017, so your answer should be a definite date, on or after the 6th April 2017.

You appear to conflate a S167 list with a voluntary list. A S167 list is different from a voluntary list. Any list held before 6th April 2017 is a voluntary list, which may or may not have been converted into a S167 list after 6th April 2017, depending on whether it meets the above requirements (being clearly marked 'designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Act' and so on.)

In response to my question about enforcement of S165, you state "I can advise that enforcement of wheelchair conditions is by way of the vehicle test which is carried out twice yearly". I don't see how a "vehicle test" can enforce such? Here are the obligations set by S165:
"4)The duties are—
"(a)to carry the passenger while in the wheelchair;
"(b)not to make any additional charge for doing so;
"(c)if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the wheelchair;
"(d)to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort;
"(e)to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required."

I can't see how a vehicle inspection could enforce that...

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Sharkey, Caroline, Warrington Borough Council

Thank you for your e-mail. I am currently out of the office with no access
to emails. If the matter is urgent please contact my colleagues in general
licensng on 01925 442072 or redirect your e-mail to
[email address] and for taxi licensing please phone 01925
442517 or redirect your e-mail to [email address].

Kind regards

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.warrington2021.com/

Sharkey, Caroline, Warrington Borough Council

Good morning Mr Paulley

Thank you for your e-mail.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the incomplete voluntary WAV list that I have e-mailed you. I can advise that this list will be updated to include the missing information in accordance with section 165 of the Act, by end of June 2017. I can also confirm that the list will be uploaded to the Council's Taxi Licensing webpage.

With regards to question 4 about enforcement, I can advise that the taxi drivers have already been made aware of their legal obligations in our April 2017 taxi newsletter. In addition to this the Council will carry out a mystery shopper exercise as part of its enforcement protocol to ensure compliance.

I hope that you find this information is satisfactory. Should have any further queries or wish me to clarify this information further then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Once again apologies for any confusion caused in my letter.

Kind regards

Caroline Sharkey
Licensing Team Manager
Regulation and Protection
Warrington Borough Council
New Town House
Buttermarket Street
Warrington
Cheshire
WA1 2NH

TEL: 01925 444051
MOB: 07740075762
FAX: 01925 442564
EMAIL: [email address]
WEB: www.warrington.gov.uk

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