Uber,Uber POP putting London Cabbies under threat /offer for wheelchair users

Matthew William C. Malton made this Freedom of Information request to Public Carriage Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Waiting for an internal review by Public Carriage Office of their handling of this request.

Matthew William C. Malton

Dear Public Carriage Office FOIA Officer,

One of the great benefits of London compared to many other cities/ countries in the world is that for persons with severe disabilities, the transportation offer as well as opportunities to move around are amazing and a lot better than in other cities, so as a start, congratulations;)

I the requester suffer from severe CP following a premature birth at 25 weeks. On top of having several other secondary disabilities related to CP, I am full time wheelchair bound, quadriplegic and have two full time volunteers. I require assistance 365 days a year.

Therefore, as you can imagine, I can appreciate the ability to move with ease and to have a wide choice with regards to the means of transportation I can use.

Even though, I believe that Uber and UberPop might be a convenient option for a large number of users, I am hereby writing up about a certain degree of concern I feel concerning the fact that should the offer become too popular and put the Public Carriage (Cabs) offer under threat, that Uber might not offer an alternative which would be as widely empowering and enabling in terms of freedom for the disabled.

I do believe that the office would have at heart that the public using London's transportation system would represent London to the fullest of its diversity.

Hence, that is why I have the honour to request from this office as part of this FOIA a sufficient number of documents including legal advice thought (preferably not exceeding your cost limit as per the act) so as to enable myself as the requester to understand whether:

1- There is a risk that Uber could put the London Cabs at ease and if yes what is done or would be done to remedy it.
2- Should the Uber offer be allowed to exponentially grow and in thus doing put the PCO cabs on offer at risk of harm, would something be done to ensure that the same requirements that currently exist for cabs (which are all virtually wheelchair friendly) would continue to apply to UBER as well.
3- If point 2- shall not prove to be available, what would be done in order to ensure that the disabled would still be at liberty to exercise their freedom of movement within similar conditions in relation to what currently exists so as to facilitate our exercise of that freedom to the greatest extent possible.

I would be extremely grateful should you be able to reply to this request in a prompt manner and at the latest within 20 days. Additionally, if you would not mind providing some reasonable adjustments concerning this request with a view to accommodate my condition, I would appreciate if you could send your letter in .pdf format as it could then enable me to zoom with greater ease or otherwise facilitate my reading.

Best wishes,
Many thanks,

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Malton

FOI, Public Carriage Office

Dear Mr Malton

 

Our ref:  FOI-1572-1415

 

Thank you for your email received on 22 December 2014 asking for
information about Uber and Taxi services.

 

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

 

A response will be provided to you by 23 January 2015.

 

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

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/

Matthew William C. Malton

Dear Public Carriage Office,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Public Carriage Office's handling of my FOI request 'Uber,Uber POP putting London Cabbies under threat /offer for wheelchair users'.

[ Whilst appreciating that this request may be difficult to process, I believe that a reply should have been sent to me in the specified manner as a reasonable adjustment by the 23rd of January. Inasmuch as I appreciate that this may be a time of particular business, I would be grateful if you could let me know what happened.]

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

Yours faithfully,

Mr Malton

FOI, Public Carriage Office

Dear Mr Malton

Request for Internal Review

Our ref: IRV-084-1415

Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received by Transport for London (TfL) on 3 February 2015.

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:
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/doc...

Every effort will be made to provide you with a response by 3 March 2015. 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 do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Emma Flint
Information Access Adviser
Transport for London
[email address]

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FOI, Public Carriage Office

Dear Mr Malton

Our ref: FOI-1582-1415

Thank you for your email.

I am sorry that we have not replied to your Freedom of information request.

Whilst we will conduct an Internal review as requested, I can assure you that we will also continuing to work on this and will provide you with our response as soon as we are able.

In the meantime I am grateful to you for your patience.

Kind regards

Graham Hurt

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FOI, Public Carriage Office

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Malton

TfL Ref: FOI-1582-141

Thank you for your email received on 22 December 2014 asking for information about Uber London Limited (Uber) and any future requirement for private hire vehicles (PHVs) to be wheelchair accessible. I apologise for the delay in providing this response.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we hold some of the information you require.

TfL’s role is to license private hire operators, drivers and vehicles and taxi drivers and vehicles, but we do not manage or control competition within or between the private hire or taxi trades.

There is no requirement for PHVs to be wheelchair accessible and we do not consider that it would be feasible to impose such an obligation on all PHVs given the wide and varied nature of the market. However, as you are no doubt aware, some PHVs are wheelchair accessible and TfL’s Cabwise service (https://www.tfl.gov.uk/forms/12389.aspx ) allows users to search for licensed private hire operators by area and this includes a function to search for operators who have wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Licensed PHV operators are also permitted to subcontract bookings to be carried out by black cabs which are under an obligation to accommodate wheelchairs.

Please note, in case you are not already aware, that we have extensive information and guidance on accessibility of different transport modes on our website which you may wish to check for further information:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessib...

https://www.tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessi...

A pdf version of this reply is attached as requested.

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
General Counsel
Transport for London

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FOI, Public Carriage Office

Dear Mr Malton

I am contacting you regarding the internal review of your request for information concerning Uber and wheelchair users. Please accept my apologies for the slight delay in responding.

This review has been carried out by an independent panel following your email of 2 February 2015 regarding the delay in providing you with a response to your Freedom of Information request.

It is clear that in failing to provide you with a response within 20 working days, TfL has breached the requirements of section 10 of the Act, and on behalf of TfL, please accept my sincere apologies for the shortcomings in the handling of your request. The panel has looked into the handling of your request and have found that because of issues with the approval of the information provided to you; this caused a delay in provided you with your response.

We believe that you have now received a response to your request on 18 February, however in view of these failings; we do not consider that this necessarily represents the end of the internal review process. We consider that it would be appropriate in the context of this request to offer you a further internal review of the content of the response, even though you have already exercised your right to a review in view of our failure to provide a timely response.

Therefore, if you are not satisfied with the quality of the response we have provided on 18 February, you may still request a further internal review by contacting [email address]

If you are dissatisfied with the internal review actions to date 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 also available on the ICO’s website (www.ico.org).

Yours sincerely

Emma Flint
Information Access Adviser
Transport for London
[email address]

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Matthew William C. Malton

Dear Miss Flint,

Thank you very much for your message of the 16th of March 2015 which I acknowledge offering to have a further internal review solely concerning the content of the reply, an offer which I would most gratefully accept.

You might also be interested in knowing that I submitted another FOI seeking further clarification which has been given the following ID number: FOI-1582-1415 and which is equally overdue according to the details with regards to the lodging of that particular request.

I will therefore separately request an internal review for that request.

Best wishes,

Mr Malton

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

Yours faithfully,

MR MALTON

FOI, Public Carriage Office

Dear Mr Malton

 

Thank you for your email.  Before we continue further with your internal
review request can you please clarify the following:

 

Thank you very much for your message of the 16th of March 2015 which I
acknowledge offering to have a further internal review  solely concerning
the content of the reply, an offer which I would most gratefully accept.

 

Can you please advise what it is you are dissatisfied with regarding the
above and what it is you are appealing against?  Additionally, the review
response sent to you on the 16 March, refers to FOI-1582-1415.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Emma Flint

Information Access Adviser

Transport for London

[1][email address]

 

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Gruffalo left an annotation ()

I'm not at all surprised the PCO had difficulty replying to the request. It is so badly written that it must have taken several weeks to figure out, if at all, what the requester was asking.