Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality Act 2010

The request was successful.

Dear Cambridge 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

Dear Cambridge City Council,

Please can I check that you have received and are processing my FOI request?

I'm a bit concerned as it's been 3 weeks since I sent it and you haven't acknowledged you've received it. WhatDoTheyKnow's mail server logs show that the email containing my request was successfully received by your email server, but that doesn't mean a human has actually read it.

Please put my mind at rest?

thank you

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

FOI, Cambridge City Council

Doug

Your request is currently with the appropriate service for response. It is
logged under reference number 5476

Regards
Eleanor

show quoted sections

Luke Catchpole, Cambridge City Council

 

Dear Mr Paulley,

 

In your Freedom of Information request dated 19^th April 2017 you
requested the following:

 

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.

 

1)       We do not have a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles. However
we do have an online register that lists all Hackney vehicles and Private
Hire Vehicles. All Hackney Vehicles that have a licence plate HCV123 or
higher is a wheelchair accessible vehicle. A copy of the register can be
found here:
[1]http://licences.cambridge.gov.uk/MVM/Onl...

2)       We have issued 5 permanent medical exemptions to drivers that
hold a dual drivers badge – this allows them to drive Hackney and Private
Hire Vehicles. The first one was issued in November 2014.

3)       As per the answer to question 1. We have not produced a list but
a register is held of all vehicles licensed with Cambridge City Council
and all Hackney vehicles from Plate 123 onwards is wheelchair accessible.

4)       No plans are in place to produce a list at the current time.

5)       N/A

6)       N/A

7)       N/A

 

If you are not happy with the way in which your request has been dealt
with please contact Joel Carré, Head of Environmental Services, by writing
to:

 

Joel Carré

Head of Environmental Services

Cambridge City Council

PO BOX 700

Cambridge

CB1 0JH

 

If you are still not satisfied with the way your request has been dealt
with you can contact the Information Commissioner by writing to:

 

Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

I hope you find the above information useful. If you have any questions or
require further assistance then please do not hesitate to contact me at
this office.

 

Kind Regards

 

 

Luke Catchpole

Technical Officer

Commercial & Licensing

Cambridge City Council

(01223) 457818

Email: [2][email address]

Facebook: [3]https://www.facebook.com/taxilicensingcc...

 

*****EH Training Solutions provides high-quality and affordable training
courses in the areas of: alcohol licensing, food hygiene, health and
safety as well as landlord and letting agent training.  Please visit our
Training page at: [4]http://www.cambridge.gov.uk/training for further
details on the courses we offer, or how we can meet your specific training
needs*****

 

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References

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1. http://licences.cambridge.gov.uk/MVM/Onl...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. https://www.facebook.com/taxilicensingcc...
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Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

See:

https://www.kingqueen.org.uk/law-requiri...

for help interpreting this response.

Dear Cambridge City Council,

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

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

The information you provided does not concur with your other publications.

I asked you:

"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 responded:

"No plans are in place to produce a list at the current time."

The DFT's statutory guidance at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy... 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."

It is therefore clear that you have not taken the actions necessary to make taxi drivers subject to the new anti-discrimination law set out in S165 of the Equality Act, which was commenced on 6th April.

S165 would put drivers under a duty:

"(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."

The enforcement mechanism is:

"(7) A driver of a designated taxi or designated private hire vehicle commits an offence by failing to comply with a duty imposed on the driver by this section.
(8) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (7) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale."

Level 3 on the standard scale is £1,000. But that is academic, as you have chosen not to make these legal obligations apply in your area; without the S167 list, which you have told me you have no plans to implement, the new obligations don't and won't apply to taxi drivers in your area.

Howcome, then, in your Taxi Licencing Newsletter of March 2017, available at https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/sites/defau... , you say this:

"Important changes to equality law

"Transport Accessibility

"Taxi drivers can lose their license and face a fine of up to £1,000 if they fail to transport wheelchair users.

"From the 6th April 2017 taxi and private hire
vehicle drivers will be obliged by law to:
:- transport wheelchair users in their
wheelchair
:- provide passengers in wheelchairs with
appropriate assistance
:- charge wheelchair users the same as non-
wheelchair users
In a change to the law, drivers found to be
discriminating against wheelchair users face
fines of up to £1,000 as part of provisions being
enacted from the Equality Act. Drivers may also
face having their taxi or private hire vehicle
(PHV) licence suspended or revoked by their
licencing authority."

The information you provided to me in response to this FOI request, and the information you provided to taxi drivers, are mutually exclusive and cannot both be true.

This brings into question the accuracy of the information you provided in response to my FOI request.

Please explain? Is the information you provided to me accurate, or not?

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, Cambridge City Council

Dear Mr Paulley

I acknowledge receipt of your request for an internal review.

Regards
Eleanor

Eleanor Dent
Information and Data Policy Officer
3c Shared Services

Telephone: 01223 457062
Email: [1][email address]

3C Shared Services is a strategic partnership between Cambridge City
Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire
District Council

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Hudson Matt,

Dear Mr Paulley,

Thank you for your request for an internal review of the way Cambridge
City Council dealt with your request. I have completed my investigations
into this case, and have considered whether the response was compliant
with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Pursuant to a written request, the Act requires the Council to make
available any relevant information it holds, subject to exemptions in the
Act. I understand that your concerns are about the accuracy of
information, and in this regard my focus is on whether the information
provided is the same as the information that is held. Your further
questions about the Council's compliance with other legislation is not
considered here.

My investigations conclude that the request was responded to in full,
within the statutory time limit, and that the information provided in
response to the request was correct.

Further to the considerations around the request itself, I would like to
also address your question about the discrepancy between the information
published in the Taxi Licencing Newsletter of March 2017, and that which
you received in the response to your request. It is apparent that the
information you received in the response to the request is correct, but
that incorrect information was published in the newsletter. I understand
that a correction is due to be published in the summer edition of the
newsletter (July/Aug).

I hope this satisfies your concerns about how the request was handled
under the Freedom of Information Act. If not, you should contact the
Information Commissioner's Office via [1]www.ico.org.uk.

Yours sincerely,

Matt Hudson
Information Governance Manager
Data Protection Officer

[2]www.3csharedservices.org
3C Shared Services is a strategic partnership between Cambridge City
Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire
District Council

show quoted sections

Doug Paulley left an annotation ()

Utterly astonishing.

Cambridge City Council put in their newsletter to all their taxi drivers that drivers would be subject to the new anti-discrimination law preventing them from refusing wheelchair users, charging wheelchair users extra and the like.

But because the Council have refused to do the office-work required to produce a list of accessible taxis (required for the law to come into effect), they are now going to put in their newsletter to all taxi drivers that the law won't be implemented in Cambridge so taxis can carry on discriminating as they were.

Utterly astonishing.

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

A Cambridge News article has been published based on this request

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cam...

The council has responded pointing to their Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.

Section 15.7 states:

:"The Equality Act 2010 places certain duties on licensed drivers to provide assistance to people in wheelchairs and to carry them safely. There are similar requirements on drivers in relation to the treatment of passengers with an assistance dog. Neither drivers nor operators of licensed vehicles can make any extra charge or refuse to carry such passengers."

https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/sites/defau...

Doug Paulley left an annotation ()

That article misses the point.

1) I never spoke to that paper and I have no idea where they got my quote from.

2) My issue isn't so much that they won't create a list, it's that they told drivers they would be subject to the new anti discrimination law and are now having to correct themselves in a later newsletter.

3) Their license condition is incorrect: as it stands, the Equality Act 2010 places no specific duties on drivers not to discriminate against wheelchair users (it does protect assistant dog users) because the council haven't implemented a S167 list.

4) There's no down side to having a list. It's a bit of office work, but not substantial. Doing so puts drivers under duties not to discriminate under criminal law, not just under licensing powers. So there's no reason not to do it.

Oh well

Doug Paulley left an annotation ()

Doug Paulley left an annotation ()

I have written a blog on this.

https://www.kingqueen.org.uk/cambridge-c...

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