FOI request detail

Freedom of Information request - complaints about Private hire drivers logged on twitter

Request ID: FOI-1384-1718
Date published: 16 November 2017

You asked

Dear Transport for London, can you provide me with the following information: 1, how many complaints about private hire drivers you have received via Twitter @TfLTPH in the last 12 months 6th sep '16 to 6th sep,'17 2, how many of these complaints were followed up with the driver of the vehicle in question.

We answered

Thank you for your email received by us on 7 September 2017 asking for information about the Transport for London’s (TfL) Taxi and Private Hire (TPH) Twitter feed.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. I can confirm that we hold some of the information you require. You asked for:

1, how many complaints about private hire drivers you have received via Twitter @TfLTPH in the last 12 months 6th sep '16 to 6th sep,'17

2, how many of these complaints were followed up with the driver of the vehicle in question.

Between 6 September 2016 and 6 September 2017, the @TfLTPH Twitter feed has processed 2,062 complaints about Private Hire vehicles. Where sufficient information for a complaint is provided, we will identify the driver and/or vehicle/operator and pass the complaint on to our compliance team to undertake any further action required. It should be noted that the @TfLTPH Twitter account is followed by a proportionately higher number of taxi drivers than Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) drivers and the information provided to us is what our followers wish to report and should not be viewed in isolation as an accurate indication of the taxi and private hire sector at large.

Please see the table below documenting action undertaken for each complaint processed through the @TfLTPH Twitter feed:

Row Labels Count
Advisory Letter Issued to Driver 737
Complaint Not Noted 166
Complaint Noted 138
No Further Action Possible 397
Refer to Compliance 113
Refer to Intel 9
Refer to Licensing 9
Refer to Policy 1
Warning Issued 492
Total 2,062

The following categories will result in the driver being contacted:

• Advisory Letter Issued to Driver
• Complaint Not Noted
• Complaint Noted
• Warning Issued

TfL’s complaint systems do not record whether a driver has been subsequently contacted if a complaint is categorised as one of the following:

• Refer to Compliance
• Refer to Intel
• Refer to Licensing
• Refer to Policy
• No Further Action Possible

In most of these instances the individual department will contact the driver directly.

To determine how many drivers were contacted by individual departments, a manual search of each complaint would need to be undertaken. Provision of this information would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, 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. We have estimated that it would considerably exceed the limit to provide a response to your current request.

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. If you want to refine your request or make a Freedom of Information Act request in future, please bear in mind that the Freedom of Information Act allows you to request recorded information held by us. You should identify the information that you want as clearly and concisely as you can, specifying the types of document that you are looking for. You might also consider limiting your request to a particular period of time, geographical area or specific departments of the organisation.

Although your request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, we do not have to answer your question if it would require the creation of new information or the provision of a judgement, explanation, advice or opinion that was not already recorded at the time of your request.

In the case of ‘No Further Action Possible’ this means no action can be taken with the driver. This could be because of the following:

• Driver cannot be traced (wrong ID or no ID provided)
• No legislation broken
• No further info received from customer
No ‘Further Action Possible’ would also be recorded if the case is a duplicate.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

Yours sincerely

Jasmine Howard
FOI Case Officer
Information Governance
Transport For London

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