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Private Hire Consultaion

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United Cabbies Group

Dear Transport for London,

We would like to refer you to the LTPH notice 08/11 titled Outcomes of Private Hire Consultation issued by Helen Chapman on the 2nd September 2011.

It has been 16 months since this notice was issued and under the freedom of information act we have a number of questions that we would appreciate answers to.

In order to prevent any confusion and to ensure we receive answers to all of our questions I have stated our questions (in brackets) below each section.

Following a consultation on private hire matters which ran from October 2010 to January 2011, a number of changes will be implemented from late 2011 onwards.

London Taxi & Private Hire has analysed the results of the consultation and spent a considerable amount of time undertaking further consultation and engagement with the private hire and taxi trade and the police to understand the impact of introducing some of the changes

Most of the changes relate to the introduction of additional requirements for private hire operators, particularly those operating from shared premises and will seek to address a number of key issues raised with TfL over the past few years.

Some items for private hire drivers are still under review and will be announced separately.

Throughout the consultation process, the overriding aim has been to ensure that any changes strike the right balance between improving safety for the travelling public whilst meeting the Governments desired objective of adopting a pragmatic approach to licensing without over regulating.

A summary of the changes due to take place is as follows:

New measures will be introduced for shared operator premises. Applications will only be accepted if certain conditions are met.

(1) Please could you supply us with a list of the 'certain conditions' that must be met for successful applicants.

All applications for a private hire operating centre will require proof that planning permission has been granted, applied for, or is not required.

Private hire operating centres within a shared premises will be required to have a designated booking area within the premises. This area will be named on the licence.

(2) What measures have been or are being taken to ensure that operating centres meet the requirement of designated booking areas within the premises.

Could you also clarify the meaning 'within the premises' as we believe there was some confusion at the recent court case against Diamond Cars.

Bearing in mind the judges ruling on this case, what measures have you taken or are taking to ensure there is no further confusion?

Operators within shared premises will be required to provide a booking ‘receipt’ to passengers

(3) What steps have you taken to enforce the requirement that passengers are being issued with receipts at operating centres within shared premises. Please could you supply us with copies of any documentation or notices issued to the PH trade in relation to this matter.

Private hire operators will be required to have a fixed landline telephone number for bookings.

(4) What measures have you taken to ensure that this requirement is being met? Please could you supply us with any documentation in relation to this?.

Additional checks will be done on all personnel named on an operator’s licence application to ensure they are ‘fit and proper’

(5) Again, what measures have you taken on this issue, could you please define the meaning of 'fit and proper'.

Further restrictions will apply for operator applications in shared premises within central London.

(6) What are the further restrictions you refer to?

TfL will work with private hire operators and applicants to encourage adherence to local parking regulations.

(7) What work has been done with PH Operators to encourage adherence to local parking restrictions, please could you supply us with any supporting evidence or documentation in relation to this?.

Have you been in contact with local authorities with regards to enforcement of parking restrictions, we are particularly interested in any communication you may have had regarding this with Westminster and Camden councils, please could you supply us with any correspondence?

TfL will work with the private hire trade on all of these areas to finalise these measures and to identify a suitable timeline for introducing them.

(8) Has a timeline been decided on for the introduction?

Private Hire Drivers

TfL is considering further requirements that applicants must meet to help improve standards and ensure detailed background information checks can be undertaken for all drivers.

(9) What consideration was given to these further requirements and has a decision been made? Please provide us with any documentation and research undertaken.

TfL is considering additional measures for drivers including a review of training requirements and driver identification.

(10) What consideration has been given to this. Please provide us with any documentation and research undertaken.

A new licence condition will be introduced to clarify that any driver who admits to having sexual contact in a licensed vehicle with a passenger will have their licence revoked.

(11) Has this condition been introduced? How are drivers notified of this condition? Please could you provide a copy.

Private Hire Vehicles

New, consolidated external vehicle signage will be introduced to replace all forms of existing vehicle signage, including red route stickers.

(12) When is the external vehicle signage being introduced? Please could you provide us with any correspondence between TfL and the PH trade relating to this matter?

Please include any designs that are being considered for the external signage.

Yours faithfully,

United Cabbies Group

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your e-mail received by Transport for London (TfL) on 17 January 2013 asking for information about Private Hire Consultation.

Section 8(1) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) sets out the requirements of a valid request for information and states that a request must, amongst other things, “state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence.” As no name has been provided we are unable to treat this as a valid request.

If you still require this information please resubmit your request and provide a valid name.

Yours faithfully

Graham Hurt
FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team | Transport for London
Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL
[TfL request email]

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United Cabbies Group

Dear FOI,

Hi

The United Cabbies Group are representatives of Licensed London Taxi drivers.

We have made numerous freedom of information requests in the past and have never had a problem in receiving information from you.

Perhaps you would be so kind and explain what has changed?

Yours sincerely,

United Cabbies Group

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your further e-mail regarding your recent request for information about Private Hire Consultation.

As previously stated, under Section 8(1) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), in order to treat this as a valid request a named individual will have to be given. If previous requests were handled without a name being given, this was an oversight.

Therefore, if you would like a response to your request, please resubmit it with a valid name of an individual and we will be happy to proceed.

Yours faithfully

Graham Hurt
FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team | Transport for London
Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL
[TfL request email]

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United Cabbies Group

Dear FOI,

Although you still have not explained why you have proceeded with previous FOI requests I will abide by your request.

My name is Lee Osborne, I am the secretary of the United Cabbies Group.

Please let me know if you require any further information?

Yours sincerely,

United Cabbies Group

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Osborne

TfL Ref: FOI-1728-1213

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 22 January 2013 asking for information about Private Hire consultation.

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and TfL’s information access policy.

A response will be provided to you by 19 February 2013.

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

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt
FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team | Transport for London
Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL
[TfL request email]

FOI, Transport for London

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Osbourne,

 

TfL Ref:  FOI-1788-1213

 

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 22
January 2013 requesting information regarding LTPH Notice 08/11 titled
‘Outcomes of Private Hire Consultation’ which was issued on 2 ^ September
2011 (copy attached).

 

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of
Information Act and TfL’s information access policy. TfL does hold the
information you have requested. In response to twelve statements taken
from Notice 08/11 (in italics) you asked the questions set out below:

 

1.    New measures will be introduced for shared operator premises.
Applications will only be accepted if certain conditions are met.

 

Please could you supply us with a list of the 'certain conditions' that
must be met for successful applicants?

 

2.    All applications for a private hire operating centre will require
proof that planning permission has been granted, applied for, or is not
required. Private hire operating centres within a shared premises will be
required to have a designated booking area within the premises. This area
will be named on the licence.

 

What measures have been or are being taken to ensure that operating
centres meet the requirement of designated booking areas within the
premises? Could you also clarify the meaning 'within the premises' as we
believe there was some confusion at the recent court case against Diamond
Cars. Bearing in mind the judges ruling on this case, what measures have
you taken or are taking to ensure there is no further confusion?

 

3.    Operators within shared premises will be required to provide booking
‘receipt’ to passengers.

 

What steps have you taken to enforce the requirement that passengers are
being issued with receipts at operating centres within shared premises.
Please could you supply us with copies of any documentation or
notices issued to the PH trade in relation to this matter.

 

4.    Private hire operators will be required to have a fixed landline
telephone number for bookings.

 

What measures have you taken to ensure that this requirement is being met?
Please could you supply us with any documentation in relation to this?

 

5.    Additional checks will be done on all personnel named on an
operator’s licence application to ensure they are ‘fit and proper’.

 

Again, what measures have you taken on this issue, could you please define
the meaning of 'fit and proper'?

 

6.    Further restrictions will apply for operator applications in shared
premises within central London.

 

What are the further restrictions you refer to?

    

7.    TfL will work with private hire operators and applicants to
encourage adherence to local parking regulations.

 

What work has been done with PH Operators to encourage adherence to local
parking restrictions, please could you supply us with any supporting
evidence or documentation in relation to this? Have you been in contact
with local authorities with regards to enforcement of parking
restrictions, we are particularly interested in any communication you may
have had regarding this with Westminster and Camden councils, please could
you supply us with any correspondence?

 

8.    TfL will work with the private hire trade on all of these areas to
finalise these measures and to identify a suitable timeline for
introducing them.

 

Has a timeline been decided on for the introduction?

    

9.    TfL is considering further requirements that applicants must meet to
help improve standards and ensure detailed background information checks
can be undertaken for all drivers.

 

What consideration was given to these further requirements and has a
decision been made? Please provide us with any documentation and research
undertaken.

 

10. TfL is considering additional measures for drivers including a review
of training requirements and driver identification.

 

What consideration has been given to this? Please provide us with any
documentation and research undertaken.

 

11. A new licence condition will be introduced to clarify that any driver
who admits to having sexual contact in a licensed vehicle with a passenger
will have their licence revoked.

 

Has this condition been introduced? How are drivers notified of this
condition? Please could you provide a copy.

    

12. New, consolidated external vehicle signage will be introduced to
replace all forms of existing vehicle signage, including red route
stickers.

 

When is the external vehicle signage being introduced? Please could you
provide us with any correspondence between TfL and the PH trade relating
to this matter? Please include any designs that are being considered for
the external signage.

 

Unfortunately, to provide the information you have requested will exceed
the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information
(Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. Under section 12 of the FOI
Act, we are not obliged to comply with a request if we estimate that the
cost of determining whether we hold the information, locating and
retrieving it and extracting it from other information would exceed the
appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25 per hour for every hour spent
on the activities described.

 

To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450
limit, you may wish to refine your request or if you wish to make a
Freedom of Information Act request in future please note that there are
limits on the time that TfL is required to spend determining whether TfL
holds the information you are requesting and the time spent locating,
retrieving and extracting it. Therefore you should identify the
information that you want as clearly and concisely as you can, specifying
the types of document that you are looking for. You might also consider
limiting your request to a particular period of time, geographical area or
specific departments of TfL.

 

Although your request can take the form of a question, rather than a
request for specific documents, TfL does not have to answer your question
if it would require the creation of new information or the provision of a
judgement, explanation, advice or opinion that was not already recorded at
the time of your request.  Please note that we will not be taking further
action until we receive your revised request. 

 

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached
information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team | Transport for London

Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL

[1][TfL request email]

 

 

 

 

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d.little left an annotation ()

United Cabbies Group

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 'Private Hire Consultaion'.

I fail to see how retrieving the information I have requested would exceeded the maximum number of hours.

Considering the information I have requested is in response to a consultation carried out by LTPH I would imagine this info should be readily available.

Many of the questions I have asked require simple answers and should require very little work, any documentation I have requested should be easily accessible as I would imagine this would simply be stored in email folders.

Please explain in detail why you feel that retrieving this info would exceed the maximum number of hours.

Regards

Lee Osborne

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

Yours faithfully,

United Cabbies Group

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Osborne

 

TfL ref:  IRV-146-1213

 

Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received by
Transport for London (TfL) on 19 February 2013.

 

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

 

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://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/f...

 

Every effort will be made to provide you with a response by 20 March.
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.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team | Transport for London

Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL

[2][TfL request email]

 

 

 

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United Cabbies Group

Dear FOI,

I am still to receive a reply to my request for an internal review.

You stated in your previous response that every effort will be made to provide me with a reply by 20th March 2013, and if the review was not completed by this date you would contact me and let me know of any revised response dates.

Today is the 21st March and i have revieved no such notification.

Please could you let me know when I can expect a reply?

Yours sincerely,

United Cabbies Group

Sloane Peter, Transport for London

Dear Mr Osborne

Thank you for your email, which has been forwarded to me. I am sorry that we have not been able to provide yo with a response to your request for an internal review. Unfortunately we have been unable to complete the review so far but I can assure you that we will provide you with a response as soon as we are able to and will be aiming to do so by 19 April. Please accept my apologies for the delay

Yours sincerely

Peter Sloane | Senior Information Governance Adviser (Enforcement and Complaints)
Information Governance | General Counsel | Transport for London
Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL
E: [email address]

Personal information plays a critical role in keeping London moving. If you work for TfL or one of its operating subsidiaries, visit source.tfl/privacy to find out more about your role in protecting its security, integrity and availability; and supporting compliance with the Data Protection Act...

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United Cabbies Group

Dear Mr Sloane,

I still have not received a response from you in relation to this matter, despite your last email on the 28th March claiming your would endeavour to reply by the 19th April 2013.

Please could you provide me with a status update as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

United Cabbies Group

United Cabbies Group

Dear Mr Sloane

I still have not received a response from you in relation to this
matter, despite your last email on the 28th March claiming your
would endeavour to reply by the 19th April 2013.

Please could you provide me with a status update as soon as
possible.

Yours sincerely,

United Cabbies Group

Yours sincerely,

United Cabbies Group

Sloane Peter, Transport for London

Dear Mr Osborne

Thank you for your email and I am very sorry that I have not been able to provide you with an outcome to this internal review sooner. However, I can confirm that a response is in the process of being finalised and we hope to be able to send this out to you next week.

Yours sincerely

Peter Sloane | Senior Information Governance Adviser (Enforcement and Complaints)
Information Governance | General Counsel | Transport for London
Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL
E: [email address]

Personal information plays a critical role in keeping London moving. If you work for TfL or one of its operating subsidiaries, visit source.tfl/privacy to find out more about your role in protecting its security, integrity and availability; and supporting compliance with the Data Protection Act.

show quoted sections

FOI, Transport for London

6 Attachments

Dear Mr Osbourne,

 

I am contacting you concerning the internal review of the handling of your
request for information under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000
for information relating to LTPH notice 08/11 titled Outcomes of Private
Hire Consultation. I am very sorry that we have not been able to provide
you with a response sooner.

 

Your original enquiry was considered under the FOI Act and was refused on
the grounds of cost. The review panel have considered this decision and
have upheld the decision that disclosure would exceed the appropriate
limit of £450. However, the panel has also found that in addition to
offering advice about how your request might be refined in order to bring
it under the cost limit, consideration should have been given to answering
the questions you raised by providing an additional response outside the
FOI framework.

 

Therefore I attach further information and a reply to your enquiry which
provides a combination of FOI response and, where the cost limit prevents
the identification and disclosure of all recorded information held, a
direct answer to the questions raised.

 

The FOI Act gives a right to request copies of recorded information held
by a public authority. Although your request can take the form of a
question, rather than a request for specific documents, there is no
requirement to answer a question under FOI if it would require the
creation of new information or the provision of a judgement, explanation,
advice or opinion that was not already recorded at the time of your
request. The panel recognises your right to submit FOI requests to
Transport for London, either through whatdotheyknow.com or by email to
[1][TfL request email]. We also invite you to direct questions or queries about
London Taxi and Private Hire to [2][email address]. If we consider an
enquiry sent to [3][email address] should be considered under FOI we
will inform you that this is the case and transfer your enquiry to the FOI
team. We will do this promptly and we will use the date that we received
your initial enquiry as the start date for the FOI request to avoid you
being disadvantaged in any way by asking direct questions rather than
making a request under FOI.

 

Once again, on behalf of TfL please accept my apologies for the
shortcomings in the handling of the request and the delay in providing you
with this internal review outcome. If you are dissatisfied with the
outcome of this internal review, you have a further right of appeal to the
Office of the Information Commissioner. You can write to them at the
following address.

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

A complaint form is also available on the ICO’s website
([4]www.ico.gov.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

Simon  Guild

Information Access Manager

Transport for London

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr Osbourne,

 

TfL Ref:  FOI-1788-1213

              

Thank you for your letter regarding to your Freedom of Information Request
in relation to the LTPH notice 08/11 titled Outcomes of Private Hire
Consultation issued by Helen Chapman on the 2nd September 2011.

 

In considering all of your questions, I note that you have requested a
number of correspondences between TfL and third parties. We are unable to
provide this documentation as your request is not specific enough to allow
us to determine whether the information is held, or to locate, retrieve
and extract the requested information within the ‘appropriate limit’ of
£450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees)
Regulations 2004.

Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with a
request if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the
information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other
information would exceed the appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25
per hour for every hour spent on the activities described.

 

Some personal data (email addresses, names of private citizens, direct
telephone numbers) have been redacted as they are subject to a statutory
exemption to the right of access to information, under section 40(2) of
the Act.  Disclosure of this personal data would be a breach of the Data
Protection Act (DPA), specifically the first principle of the DPA which
requires all processing of personal data to be fair and lawful. It would
not be fair to disclose this personal information when the individuals
have no expectation it would be disclosed and TfL has not satisfied one of
the conditions of Schedule 2 of the DPA which would make the processing
lawful. This exemption to the right of access to information is an
absolute exemption and not subject to an assessment of whether the public
interest favours use of the exemption.

 

I have considered all the points that you have raised, and where it has
not been possible to locate all recorded information I have answered the
specific question that you have asked.

 

 

Private Hire Operators

 

1)    New measures will be introduced for shared operator premises.
Applications will only be accepted if certain conditions are met.

 

Please could you supply us with a list of the 'certain conditions' that
must be met for successful applicants.

 

TfL response

 

The new requirements include the need for applicants to provide details of
the proposed operating centre via form PHV/108:

 

[5]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/b...

 

Once these details are provided, we visit the premises to assess the
suitability of the premises. This includes a visual inspection on the
nature of the primary use of the premises, the location within the
premises that the operator / venue wish bookings to be taken and the
location identified for secure storage of all records, if applicable.

 

These requirements were introduced in January 2012.

 

All applications for a private hire operating centre will require proof
that planning permission has been granted, applied for, or is not
required.

 

Private hire operating centres within a shared premise will be required to
have a designated booking area within the premises. This area will be
named on the licence.

 

2)    What measures have been or are being taken to ensure that operating
centres meet the requirement of designated booking areas within the
premises?

 

TfL response

 

In January 2012 we introduced additional information on the licence that
is issued to the operator. As outlined in our response to question (1), a
pre-licensing inspection is carried out by TPH Compliance officers to
determine the suitability of the venue. During this pre-licensing
inspection the designated booking area will be discussed with the operator
and the venue manager and agreed. All pre-licensing inspections for late
night venues are now undertaken at night-time, when the venue is likely to
be at its busiest so we can gauge exactly how feasible it is for bookings
to be taken in this area. Once a licence has been issued, TfL compliance
officers regularly visit PHV operator premises to ensure compliance.

 

Could you also clarify the meaning 'within the premises' as we believe
there was some confusion at the recent court case against Diamond Cars.
Bearing in mind the judges ruling on this case, what measures have you
taken or are taking to ensure there is no further confusion?

 

TfL response

 

The PHV Act states that an operating centre means premises at which
private hire bookings are accepted by an operator.  We define this as
being within the confines (i.e. within the physical structure of the
building). The recent case you are referring to was described by the judge
as ‘idiosyncratic’ as the premises had a recessed area which was within
the physical structure of the building but beyond the doors to the
premises. The findings in this case do not alter our view for premises
where the doors lead straight out onto the street with public access.

 

3)    Operators within shared premises will be required to provide a
booking

‘receipt’ to passengers.

What steps have you taken to enforce the requirement that passengers are
being issued with receipts at operating centres within shared premises?

Please could you supply us with copies of any documentation or notices
issued to the PH trade in relation to this matter?

 

TfL response

 

This requirement has not yet been introduced. All TPH notices issued to
the taxi and private hire trades are available on our website –

 

[6]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/businessandpartner...

 

 

4)    Private hire operators will be required to have a fixed landline
telephone

number for bookings.

What measures have you taken to ensure that this requirement is being met?
Please could you supply us with any documentation in relation to this?

 

TfL response

 

All applicants for new and renewal licences are required to provide
details of their landline number which is checked through the
pre-licensing inspection. This is included within application form PHV/108
(link provided in question 1).

 

5)    Additional checks will be done on all personnel named on an
operator’s

licence application to ensure they are ‘fit and proper’.

Again, what measures have you taken on this issue, could you please define
the meaning of 'fit and proper'?

 

TfL response

 

In assessing whether an operator is ‘fit and proper’, we assess both the
individual and the premises they wish to license against a number of
administrative criteria including:

 

·           Convictions

·           Business repute

·           Right of abode and to work

·           Previous applications

·           Radio licence

·           Insurance

·           Health and Safety

·           Planning permission

 

Further details can be found in section 9.4 of the attached document:
[7]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/b...

 

Unfortunately, operator applicants are not entitled to obtain a criminal
record check from the CRB and as a result we rely on self declaration of
convictions which we feel is unreliable. In our recent response to the Law
Commission we raised this issue and we suggested that it should be
mandatory to require a criminal records check for all names listed on an
operator application form but also for all personnel working for that
operator that will come into face to face contact with the public
(excluding drivers who are already subject to the Enhanced CRB check).

 

Our full response to the Law Commission review can be found here
[8]http://lawcommission.justice.gov.uk/area...

 

6) Further restrictions will apply for operator applications in shared
premises within central London. What are the further restrictions you
refer to?

 

TfL response

 

Please refer to question (1) above.

 

7) TfL will work with private hire operators and applicants to encourage
adherence to local parking regulations. What work has been done with PH
Operators to encourage adherence to local parking restrictions, please
could you supply us with any supporting evidence or documentation in
relation to this?

 

TfL response

 

As part of the pre-licensing inspection, TfL compliance officers will
discuss parking arrangements with the applicant at the venue.

 

Have you been in contact with local authorities with regards to
enforcement of parking restrictions, we are particularly interested in any
communication you may have had regarding this with Westminster and Camden
councils, please could you supply us with any correspondence?

 

 TfL response

 

From time to time we do make contact with local authorities to undertake
joint operations or to raise the issue of parking enforcement. Discussions
have been held with a number of local authorities including Westminster
and Camden.

A number of discussions, meetings and joint operations have taken place
with the London Boroughs in relation to parking enforcement matters.
However, parking on London Borough roads is ultimately a local authority
responsibility which TfL do not have the power to enforce.

 

Please see the attached PDF for emails between TfL and Westminster
regarding parking enforcement at specific locations however most joint
operations are arranged / discussed over the phone. We do not have any
correspondence with Camden council.

 

8) TfL will work with the private hire trade on all of these areas to
finalise these measures and to identify a suitable timeline for
introducing them. Has a timeline been decided on for the introduction?

 

 TfL response

 

As outlined above, a number of the measures have already been introduced.
There is no specific timeframe for the remainder of items.

 

Private Hire Drivers

 

9) TfL is considering further requirements that applicants must meet to
help improve standards and ensure detailed background information checks
can be undertaken for all drivers. What consideration was given to these
further requirements and has a decision been made? Please provide us with
any documentation and research undertaken.

 

TfL response

 

Following the publication of TPH notice 08/11, detailed work was
undertaken to investigate the feasibility of introducing a residency
requirement. It is not possible to introduce a blanket three year
residency requirement for taxi and private hire driver applicants as there
are a number of factors that would need to be considered. However, we are
now looking at what additional checks can be undertaken on applicants who
have lived overseas to ensure they are checked to an equivalent standard
of the Enhanced CRB check. It is likely this will be introduced in late
2013.

 

Please see the attached PDFs for documentation and research into
introducing a residency requirement for taxi and private hire driver
applicants.

 

Some emails have not been included in our response as we are not obliged
to supply this information as it is subject to a statutory exemption to
the right of access to information, under Section 42(1) of the FOI Act. 
In this instance Section 42(1) has been applied as the information you
have requested is covered by legal professional privilege (LPP). 

 

LPP is a common law concept that protects the confidentiality of most
communications between a legally qualified adviser and client. The
information you have requested is covered by LPP and the adverse affect of
disclosure would arise from the inhibiting effect it would have on TfL
seeking and obtaining frank legal advice. The risk of disclosure of legal
advice would detract from the responsibility TfL has to analyse and
address legal risks and issues.

 

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned.  We
recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities,
and that there may be a particular public interest in enabling you, and
the wider public, to understand the basis for our decision making on this
issue. However, there is a very strong element of public interest inbuilt
into the concept of LPP and this has long been recognised, by the
Information Commissioner, the Information Tribunal and the courts, and it
reflects the importance of legal advice being sought, and given, in
confidence as a fundamental condition on which the administration of
justice rests. In view of that, TfL considers that the public interest
favours the use of this exemption in relation to the information you have
requested.

 

10) TfL is considering additional measures for drivers including a review
of training requirements and driver identification. What consideration has
been given to this. Please provide us with any documentation and research
undertaken?

 

TfL response

 

We considered introducing the DSA driving assessment for all new private
hire drivers however it was decided this was not appropriate given the
cost on the industry as a whole. TfL encourages private hire operators to
require their licensed drivers to undertake private hire driver training. 

 

Some initial discussion on introducing driver identification has been
undertaken within TfL however no decision has yet been made.

 

11) A new licence condition will be introduced to clarify that any driver
who admits to having sexual contact in a licensed vehicle with a passenger
will have their licence revoked. Has this condition been introduced? How
are drivers notified of this condition? Please could you provide a copy.

 

TfL response

 

This has been applied since November 2011 and is included within our
licensing policy (section 4.2.14 of the attached document).

 

[9]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/b...

 

Private Hire Vehicles

 

12) New, consolidated external vehicle signage will be introduced to
replace all forms of existing vehicle signage, including red route
stickers. When is the external vehicle signage being introduced? Please
could you provide us with any correspondence between TfL and the PH trade
relating to this matter?

 

TfL response

 

We have held a number of workshops with private hire trade
representatives, Community Safety Enforcement Policing and police
representatives to explore what options are available regarding updating
the existing external private hire vehicle signage. From these workshops
there was not a universally agreed solution; therefore implementation has
been put on hold until a final decision has been made internally. 

 

Some initial draft designed of proposed vehicle signage are attached which
were used in the workshops as discussion points. The general concept is a
front windscreen disk and a rear licence plate. It should be noted that no
decisions have been made on the design of vehicle signage. Please see the
PDF attachment for a copy of these designs.

 

Please see the attached PDF for correspondence between TfL and the PH
trade regarding external vehicle signage.

 

If this is not the information you are looking for please do not hesitate
to contact me.

 

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached
information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Simon Guild
Information Access Manager

Transport for London

 

 

 

References

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1. mailto:[TfL request email]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
5. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/b...
6. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/businessandpartner...
7. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/b...
8. http://lawcommission.justice.gov.uk/area...
9. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/b...

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