Taxi Travel overview and keeping safe whilst travelling
Many taxi companies now offer wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Wheelchair-accessible taxis are usually black cabs, wheelchair-adapted vehicles, people carriers, minibuses or converted small vans. They may have a ramp or a passenger lift to assist the wheelchair user with getting into the vehicle, which is far easier than transferring from a wheelchair to a car seat and dismantling the wheelchair for the journey.
As wheelchairs are carefully designed to support a disabled person, wheelchair-accessible taxis allow disabled people to stay in the position that is best for their body and posture.
Wheelchair-accessible taxis must also be equipped to secure the wheelchair when the cab is in motion. Seat belts or lap belts should be available to keep the wheelchair user steady.
Wheelchair accessible taxis are also adding different forms of lighting to help the visually impaired.
All the equipment in a wheelchair taxi should be regularly tested by the driver to ensure it remains in good repair.
Accessible Taxi companies
These vehicles generally look like London style cabs and all have an illuminated TAXI sign on the roof. Taxis can be hailed in the street or they can be hired at taxi ranks. All hackney carriages are wheelchair accessible vehicles, although drivers may not be able to carry all types of wheelchair. Drivers will perform a risk assessment for less standard wheelchairs to establish if they are able to transport them safely.
VIP Cars – 01482 904 022
Drive – 01482 575 757
Planning a journey
When booking a taxi from a firm who aren’t a wheelchair specialist, ensure you mention at time of booking that you will need an accessible car.
The law states that to comply with The Equalities Act 2010 licensed drivers are under a legal duty to carry wheelchair users, guide, hearing and other prescribed assistance dogs in their vehicles without additional charge. The law expects drivers:
- to carry the passenger while in a wheelchair
• not to make any additional charge for doing so
• if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the wheelchair
• to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort; and
• to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonable
All taxi and minicab drivers must make sure they don’t discriminate against disabled people and should not treat them less favourably than non-disabled customers. They should also make reasonable adjustments to ensure you receive the same services, as far as this is possible, as someone who’s not disabled.
If a taxi driver does discriminate against you, you should complain to your local authority’s Licensing Department.
All taxis must allow guide dogs in vehicles.