The following 'report' appeared on the TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) website on Valentine's Day
The number of licensed taxis and private hire vehicles has increased in England and Wales. Data from the Department for Transport revealed there were 78,000 licensed taxis operating as of March 31st 2011 - a three per cent increase on the figure recorded in 2009. Similarly, the number of licensed private hire vehicles also went up by three per cent to 155,100 in the same timeframe.
The DfT figures came out in December 2011 (dated 31st March 2011) but, and for the first time, had various notes added on the end such as the following:-
Where a licensing authority did not provide a return for the 2011 survey, a figure from a previous return is used.
Some or all figures for this authority are based on a return made in a previous year as a complete return was not provided in 2011.
Where authorities were unable to provide the number of wheelchair accessible taxis this is indicated by ' ..' Relevant regional totals include an estimate based on previous years\' returns and therefore will not equal the sum of the figures for constituent authorities in this table.
This information was collected for the first time in 2011. Where an authority did not provide a return, this is indicated by '..'
Regional totals are estimates produced by scaling responses provided and will therefore not equal the sum of the figures for constituent authorities in this table.
Source: Taxi Licensing Authorities
Last updated: 15 December 2011
Next update: 2013
In the meantime, for the last six months the NPHA has been working very closely with the Law Commission providing statistics, at the request of their economist , to assist them in their review of our legislation. Our last survey on vehicles was in Oct/Nov 2010 and, at the request of the Law Commission, we made a start on adding the new DfT figures to our lists to show what changes had taken place.
We started with page one A to B (copy attached) and stopped right there! We could see any number of errors and omissions and so we started phoning round .... the eight green boxes highlighted are this month's figures.
They are not the DfT figures. The two orange boxes are going to send details as we send this e-mail. The councils highlighted in yellow are those that regulate or have re-regulated hackney carriage numbers and, significantly six of those 14 councils have actually now had a decrease in numbers since the DfT figures. You will see for yourselves that the number of councils that have downsized fleets since either 1999 or 2010 is also of concern.
NB if you are not in a green or orange box we do need your up to date information please.
So, and in order to assist the Law Commission before they go out to consultation on our legislation, and indeed future, (estimated first week in May) can you please let us have your figures for:-
* Hackney Carriages and how many of those are wheelchair accessible
* Private hire vehicles and how many of those are wheelchair accessible
It is vital that we get this info as fast as possible so that we can work out the figures like % rise and fall and get them to the Commission in time so we ask to let us have the info by, latest, March 21st.
We are aware that there are a number of councils who link this type of request as a Freedom of Information matter so for the sake of smooth take-up will you please accept this e-mail as a Freedom of Information request.
As usual, many many thanks for your vital help and assistance in this task, and as usual as soon as the sheet is complete it will be sent out to all of you for your assistance and knowledge.
Here are the figures requested from Brentwood Borough Council
• Hackney Carriages = 232
• how many Hackney Carriages are wheelchair accessible = 9
• Private hire vehicles = 34
• how many Private Hire vehicles are wheelchair accessible = 0