TfL Ref: FOI-0836-1718, FOI-0838-1718 and FOI-0839-1718
Thank you for your emails received on 10 July asking for information about private hire licensing.
Your requests have 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.
In order to become a licensed taxi or private hire driver all applicants must meet DVLA Group 2 medical standards of fitness. These standards are available at the following link: www.gov.uk/government/publications/assessing-fitness-to-drive-a-guide-for-medical-professionals. The first chapter of this document concerns neurological disorders and the second relates to cardiovascular disorders. The medical declaration form provided as part of a driver’s application asks the doctor completing the form to provide full details of the applicant’s medical history.
To ensure the safety of the travelling public, taxi and private hire drivers must meet a range of strict criteria to ensure they are of good character. This is assessed on the basis of an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check submitted as part of a licence application, information provided by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and any other information that comes to our attention. Once a decision regarding a driver's application has been made the results of the DBS check have to be destroyed. This is in accordance with the DBS Code of Practice which has statutory backing. Therefore, we do not hold all details of convictions and cautions and only those that have been declared to us by the driver. Additionally, licensed drivers are obliged to notify us within 21 days if they been disqualified from driving or have been cautioned, charged, or convicted of any criminal offence - including any road traffic offences. This requirement is clearly stated in the letter that accompanies all driver licences.
To provide the information you have requested in relation to driver convictions and cautions, and applications containing medical forms submitted by a specific Doctor, would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, as we would have to check in excess of 117,000 individual electronic records and to locate the information and then collate separately in a suitable format to disclose in response to your request.
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. Manually reviewing such a significant amount of records would vastly exceed this limit.
Additionally, we do not hold information in relation to the GP each driver is registered with. If someone doesn’t provide a medical form the application will be incomplete and a new medical form will be requested. If the a medical form is not then provided the application will be rejected.
We don’t take cases to the magistrates court. If someone doesn’t provide a medical form the application will be incomplete and a new medical form will be requested. If the a medical form is not then provided the application will be rejected. We may, however, be able to provide an answer to Q2 of FOI-0839-1718 if you could provide a timeframe you would like this request to cover.
To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking. For example, you may wish to limit your request to a particular document, or a narrowed period of time.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London