FOI request detail

Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 breaches sec 31 of this act

Request ID: FOI-2829-2223
Date published: 27 February 2023

You asked

How many Private Hire Companies have been told to change all there adverts because they have misused the words Taxi and Cab contrary to this 31Prohibition of certain advertisements. (1)This section applies to any advertisement— (a)indicating that vehicles can be hired on application to a specified address in London; (b)indicating that vehicles can be hired by telephone on a telephone number being the number of premises in London; or (c)on or near any premises in London, indicating that vehicles can be hired at those premises. (2)No such advertisement shall include— (a)any of the following words, namely “taxi”, “taxis”, “cab” or “cabs”, or (b)any word so closely resembling any of those words as to be likely to be mistaken for it,(whether alone or as part of another word), unless the vehicles offered for hire are London cabs. (3)An advertisement which includes the word “minicab”, “mini-cab” or “mini cab” (whether in the singular or plural) does not by reason only of that fact contravene this section. (4)Any person who issues, or causes to be issued, an advertisement which contravenes this section is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale. (5)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that— (a)he is a person whose business it is to publish or arrange for the publication of advertisements; (b)he received the advertisement in question for publication in the ordinary course of business; and (c)he did not know and had no reason to suspect that its publication would amount to an offence under this section. (6)In this section— “advertisement” includes every form of advertising (whatever the medium) and references to the issue of an advertisement shall be construed accordingly; “telephone number” includes any number used for the purposes of communicating with another by electronic means; and “telephone” shall be construed accordingly.

We answered

Our ref: FOI-2829-2223/GH

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 2 February 2023 asking for information about Private Hire advertising.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. You asked:

How  many Private Hire Companies have been told to change all there adverts because  they have misused the words Taxi and Cab contrary to this                                 
             31Prohibition of certain advertisements.

I can confirm that we do hold the information you require. However, to provide the information you have requested 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 requests 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. In this instance, we estimate that the time required to answer your request would exceed 18 hours which, at £25 per hour (the rate stipulated by the Regulations), exceeds the ‘appropriate limit’.

You have requested information over an unspecified time period. Searching and collating enforcement action since the 1998 enactment of the Act would exceed the cost limit, as we would need to search records for the last 25 years. To help bring the cost of responding to your requests within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider refining your requests to concentrate on matters which are important to you. We may be able to answer your request if you refined it to a specific time period, for example, you may wish to ask for this information for the last year, or for specific years.

Although your request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, TfL does 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. If you have specific questions relating to these topics we may be more easily able to respond to these than to a request for any information held.

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

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