Law Change Demands Equal Treatment for Disabled Taxi Users
From 6th April 2017 it will be illegal for taxi drivers and private hire vehicle drivers to discriminate against wheelchair users. They will be obliged by law to; transport wheelchair users in their wheelchair; provide passengers in wheelchairs with appropriate assistance; and charge wheelchair users the same as non-wheelchair users.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said;
“We want to build a country that works for everyone, and part of that is ensuring disabled people have the same access to services and opportunities as anyone else – including when it comes to travel. People who use wheelchairs are often heavily reliant on taxis and private hire vehicles and this change to the law will mean fair and equal treatment for all”
The new rules will apply in England, Wales and Scotland affecting vehicles that are designated as wheelchair accessible and will apply to both taxis and private hire vehicles. All taxis in London and a significant number in most major urban centres are already wheelchair accessible.
Drivers found to be discriminating against wheelchair users could face fines up to £1,000 as part of the provisions being enacted from the Equality Act and drivers may also face having their taxi or private hire vehicle (PHV) licence suspended or revoked by their licencing authority. Any driver unable to provide assistance to a wheelchair user, for medical reasons will have to apply to their licensing authority for an exemption from the new requirements.
If you would like further advice on how these changes are going to affect your business or employment then contact us now on 01279 818280 or click here to send a website contact request.