Request ID: FOI-1117-2122 Date published: 13 September 2021
For the most recent reporting period, how many drivers were available to each of the ten Private Hire Operators who had the largest number of drivers available to them. I don't expect the Operators to be identified.
Our Ref: FOI-1117-2122
Thank you for your request received on 27 August 2021 asking for information about the number of private hire operator drivers.
Your request has been processed in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require.
In accordance with the FOI Act we are not obliged to supply information on the operator as this is subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information under section 43(2) of the FOI Act.
In this instance section 43(2) exemption has been applied to the number of vehicles registered with the operators listed as it could prejudice their commercial interests. Disclosure of this information would enable rival companies to have an insight into any operator’s business model by allowing them to calculate the size of an operator’s fleet, and thus undermine their position in the competitive market place. Any disclosure under the FOI Act has to be regarded as a disclosure to the public at large. While you have not asked for the names of the operators, it would not be difficult to identify which operators they were, particularly by one of the other operators.
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, but in this instance feel that the balance lies in favour of withholding the information to ensure that private hire operators can continue to be able to operate effectively without being placed at a commercial disadvantage. Please refer to the Decision Notice issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office for further details: https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/decision-notices/2017/2172517/fs50676040.pdf.
If this is not the information you are looking for please feel free to contact me.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.
Gemma Jacob Senior FOI Case Officer FOI Case Management Team General Counsel Transport for London