The Department for Transport today made the following press release
From 6 April 2017 it will be illegal for taxi drivers to discriminate against wheelchair users.
Taxi drivers face a fine of up to £1,000 if they refuse to transport
wheelchair users or attempt to charge them extra, in a change to the law
announced today (7 February 2017) by Transport Minister Andrew Jones.
From 6 April taxi and private hire vehicle drivers will be obliged by law to:
transport wheelchair users in their wheelchairprovide passengers in wheelchairs with appropriate assistancecharge 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 wheelchair
In a change to the law, drivers found to be discriminating against
wheelchair users face fines of up to £1,000 as part of provisions being
enacted from the Equality Act. Drivers may also face having their taxi
or private hire vehicle (PHV)
licence suspended or revoked by their licencing authority.
unable to provide assistance for medical reasons will be able to apply
to their licensing authority for an exemption from the new requirements.
Robert Meadowcroft, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:
"This is a victory for all people with disabilities who experience daily struggles with accessible transport.
Being able to get from A to B is usually very easy for most people,
however we know that this can be a challenge that affects a disabled
person’s entire life, including their ability to have a job and play an
active part in society. This is a positive and very welcome step in the
right direction which we hope will not affect the number of accessible
taxis being made available by companies because of the duties now being
placed on to drivers.
Muscular Dystrophy UK
and our Trailblazers have been campaigning on this issue for many
years, and we commend the government for listening to the views of
The new requirements, which will come into force from 6 April,
complement those already in place to prevent discrimination against
users of assistance dogs and underline the government’s wide-ranging
commitment to supporting transport networks which work for everyone.
government will be consulting on a draft ‘Accessibility action plan’
later this year, which will seek to address the barriers faced by
disabled people in accessing all modes of public transport.
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