FOI Request - Guide and Assistance Dogs

Request 101000366841

As part of a Sky News investigation in to the acceptance of guide and assistance dogs in licensed taxis and private hire cars, I am requesting the following information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

From 2013 to the current date, please can you provide a yearly breakdown of the following information?
Number of licenses

1. The number of a) taxi / Hackney Carriage and b) private hire licences issued in your licencing area.
Exemption to requirements to carry guide or assistance dogs

2. The number of certificates issued to a) hackney carriage / taxi and b) private hire licensees exempting drivers from carrying guide or assistance dogs

3. In your licensing area, Is a GP’s note considered sufficient evidence for the issue of an exemption certificate under S169 and S171 of the Equality Act 2010?

Complaints, prosecutions and enforcement action

4. How many complaints or allegations were made against a) hackney carriage /taxi drivers and b) private hire drivers for refusing to carry a guide or assistance dog?

5. How many a) hackney carriage / taxi and b) private hire drivers did you prosecute for refusing a guide or assistance dog in each year and how many of these resulted in conviction?.

6. How many a) hackney carriage / taxi and b private hire drivers did you take enforcement action against (in each year) for refusing to carry guide or assistance dogs?

7. Do you have a policy in your licensing area whether or not to prosecute drivers believed to have refused guide or assistance dogs? If so, please can you confirm whether you do prosecute where appropriate or whether you have a policy to dispose of cases in any other way.

Guidance on this Freedom of information request

We are aware of a number of occasions in which drivers of PHC and Hackney carriage cars have refused to carry guide and assistance dogs. The purpose of this freedom of information request, (which is being submitted to licensing authorities around the UK) is to establish how commonly guide and assistance
dog users are refused carriage. For each question, we would be grateful if you would please provide information broken down by year.

Response 25-08-2015

1.            Taxi – 186,  PH – 17  -  these are current figures, no back data is kept therefore for previous year's this information is exempt under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002; information not held.

2.            None

3.            Each case would be considered on its own merits

4.            1 in 2014

5.            None    

6.            None

7.            No policy

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