Future Proof (4)

Meeting: 
MQT on 2017-12-14
Session date: 
December 14, 2017
Reference: 
2017/4921
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

The London Assembly Transport Committee report 'Future Proof' Report recommended that the Mayor and TfL should ensure that disabled taxi and private hire passengers' needs are met by taking steps to incentivise the provision of wheelchair accessible private hire vehicles with a view to reaching 25 per cent wheelchair accessibility across the private hire fleet by 2018. Please set out what steps, if any, TfL has taken to incentivise the adoption of wheelchair accessible private hire vehicles.

Answer

Answer for Future Proof (4)

Answer for Future Proof (4)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I encourage all private hire operators and drivers to play their part in making London accessible to all. As private hire vehicles have to be booked in advance, a customer is able to request an accessible vehicle from an operator. Private hire customers are able to find operators who have accessible vehicles on the 'find a local minicab' page on the Transport for London (TfL) website, by selecting the 'find wheelchair accessible vehicles' option - https://tfl.gov.uk/forms/12389.aspx.

All private hire operators, vehicles and drivers are licensed separately. As TfL highlighted in its response to the Future Proof report it would not be feasible to impose a blanket requirement for private hire operators to have a quota of wheelchair accessible vehicles, given that vehicles are largely licensed by owner drivers, or leased to drivers, rather than by private hire operators.

From 6 April 2017, Sections 165 and 167 of the Equality Act 2010 came into force. This means that taxi and wheelchair accessible private hire vehicle drivers have a duty to provide physical assistance to passengers in wheelchairs, and could be prosecuted by TfL if they fail to do so.

I welcome these additional powers and am pleased that this important issue has been recognised and brought to light.