FOI request detail

Legal Definition of Fitness TPH

Request ID: FOI-2069-1617
Date published: 14 July 2017

You asked

It would also be useful to know the exact number of licensed private hire drivers that were listed as working in December and the number of drivers that have produced evidence of their English proficiency.

We answered

FOI Ref: FOI-2069-1617

Thank you for your email received by us on 12 January 2017 requesting information about the private hire trade. I apologise for the delay in providing you with our response.


We have considered your request in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our Information Access Policy. I can confirm we hold the information you require. You asked for:


“The number of private hire drivers working in December 2016.”


The number of unique drivers working, or that were available to work, for a private hire operator in December 2016 was 71,132. This number is based on data provided by private hire operators and is subject to change following further analysis and verification of the data we continue to receive. Support and guidance is given to operators to ensure that they comply with this requirement. Failing to provide this information may lead to licensing action being taken.


“The full current legal definition and explicit wording of fitness for the private hire trade under TFLs jurisdiction.”


The statutory licensing requirements for London private hire drivers are set out in section 13 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 (as amended) and the Private Hire Vehicles (London PHV Driver’s Licenses) Regulations 2003 (as amended).


The term ‘fit and proper’ within section 13(2)(a) of the 1998 Act is not further defined. However, in determining a driver’s fitness, Transport for London requires all applicants to be of good character. We assess character based on an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check and information provided by the DVLA. The guidelines we apply when assessing this, and any other information that comes to our notice, are set out in the Taxi and Private Hire Staff Manual, although this document is currently under review.


The number of drivers that have produced evidence of their English proficiency.


As of 9 July 2017, 6,355 private hire drivers had supplied documentation.


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.


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


Yours sincerely


Melissa Nichols

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London


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