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wheelchair taxi users

Earlier this year new law changes demanding equal treatment for disabled taxi users came into effect. Taxi drivers now face a fine of up to £1,000 if they refuse to transport wheelchair users or attempt to charge us extra.
Check out https://www.gov.uk/government/news/law-change-demands-equal-treatment-for-disabled-taxi-users and if you or anyone you have contact with has ever experienced difficulties with taxi drivers or have noticed a difference or no difference since the law changes please join in this discussion.

Comments

  • Dont go there! Gave up using taxis years ago after loosing my cool too many times. Looked at the link and may try again.

  • Cant afford taxis any more. Last time was 3 years ago and had to pay £5 extra on a £6 ride.

  • Most taxi drivers are very helpful but some do not seem to care about my safety and when I call to book a wheelchair accessible taxi there is often not one available.

  • The only time I called for a taxi I gave up after calling 4 different companies being told that they had no car available for me but one of them told me that they need 24 hour notice. I cant get out of my chair without a hoist. My mothers car opens up with a ramp in the back so she takes me places.

  • Can drivers be fined if they do not secure me properly as I don't feel safe in taxis and the ramps are too steep.

  • Hi Anie
    I hope this information is very useful From 6 April taxi and private hire vehicle drivers will be obliged by law to:
    •transport wheelchair users in their wheelchair
    •provide passengers in wheelchairs with appropriate assistance
    •charge wheelchair users the same as non-wheelchair users
    they unfortunately do not mention anything about the height of the ramp but taxi drivers can have they licence provoked if they do don't apply with new law

  • Hi Anie

    The 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. I hope that is helpful unfortunately I can not find any information about the legal height for ramps for taxi's , but if I can find more information to help I will let u know

  • Hi Anie
    I have found this information about ramps, A wheelchair ramp at least 750mm wide and not more than 1,700mm in length is required and must be part of the vehicle’s equipment at all times. I hope this helps

  • Hi Anie
    I forgot to mention that When the ramp is deployed onto the road, the ramp slope must not exceed 1 in 4 (25%). It must be possible to deploy the ramp onto both a level road and a 125mm kerb. When the ramp is in use, it must be securely located at the point of wheelchair entry. The surface of the ramp must have a slip-resistant finish and all outer edges must be clearly marked in a contrasting colour. I hope this helps.

  • Mixed feelings about using taxis as it depends on the individual driver. I have to use my manual chair and have someone with me to push if I use a taxi to go out. I don’t feel safe in my power chair up the ramps and I seldom get strapped in securely. It’s a hassle and too expensive. Better than public transport though.

  • My sister who has Down's syndrome does not use a wheelchair but is very large, moves slowly and expresses her self using sounds that to those who do not know her may be interpret as being offensive. Twice we have been refused by taxi drivers. On one of those occasions we were left in the rain.

  • Asked taxi driver to help push me into his black cab yesterday and he just looked away and started to talk to another driver. He had reluctantly fitted the raps and a passer-by pushed me into the cab. I had to call my father to help me out when I arrived home. My father who is a bit of a racist says that he will let our local councillor know after I begged him not to go down to the station with my brother. We did not take the number of the taxi. Is there a law about this?

  • Good Morning Gill
    I have just checked and according to the new law all taxi drivers are supposed to provide passengers in wheelchairs with appropriate assistance that does include helping passengers in and out of taxi's. I hope this information is helpful.

  • Thank you Happy. I wish that I had the drivers details so that I could report him.

  • When we order a taxi from home we always specify that I am unable to get out of my wheelchair and the driver is very helpful. We normally order the car the day before and go to Morrisons to shop and eat lunch. We were stranded there once because the driver had to collect his son from the school and a suitable vehicle was not available to take us home. The nice lady at Morrisons called another taxi company who sent an ordinary car and the driver tried to charge us for wasting his time although they were told that I cannot get out of my wheelchair. In the end we waited for most of the afternoon and Morrisons gave us a free cup of tea.

  • There is only 1 accessible taxi near me and it is never available in the mornings or afternoons as it takes school kids to and from school. Busses are no good for me as the nearest stop is too far away and to get my wheelchair on is impossible. I have asked the local taxi company if they could get another accessible taxi and they told me that the cost is too high for the owner drivers to pay as they prefer cars that can be used for personal use as well as a taxi.

  • Thanks Happy for letting me know all that. I have had 2 taxi rides in the last couple of weeks and now that I am aware if the laws I will record the taxi details and wont be afraid of reporting bad practice. Actually one of the drivers was so kind that he wheeled me 50 meters from the taxi to my front door in the rain because I had to hold the umbrella.

  • There has been a notable change in the service and attitude of taxi drivers this year. About time too.

  • One of the guys in my sisters Wednesday group was in his chair travelling in a taxi with his mother and started to fit. The driver took them to A&E waited over an hour then drove them home and did not charge them. How amazing is that
  • Emm that is so good to hear.
    I have been keeping an eye on the taxi situation and talked with some fellow wheelchair users and none of us have been charged for our wheelchairs since the act came into place but there are access issues that need to be addressed which apply mostly to those of us full time wheelchair users.
    Firstly there just are not enough accessible taxis out there. Once inside our wheelchairs are not safely secured. The entrances are too small and ramps are too steep. For larger power chairs there is not enough room to turn.

  • The number of times that I have not been able to go out, missed appointments or been left stranded because a wheelchair accessible taxi is not available is more than I can remember. Usually it it not possible for me to book a taxi in advance and when I do inaccessible cars have turned up.

    Public transport is useless denying my independence for all of my adult life. The fact that I have to pay to be treated like cattle on the rare accessible bus is annoying. My house is nearly a mile from the nearest bus stop and if I am lucky enough for an accessible bus to pick me up there is usually issues with prams in the only space available. Then it is the luck of the draw if an accessible bus is available to return home.

    I dont like having to continually ask family and friends for lifts as I have my own life and if more accessible taxis and buses were available mine and a lot of other wheelchair users independence would improve.

  • On my 18th birthday I was left stranded in the centre of Swansea all night huddled in a shop doorway with a smelly fella I did not know because no accessible taxis were working. That was several years ago and I will never use taxis again.

  • Doll that has happened to me in Swansea in the rain from 3am until after 7am in November and that was only last year. I was still ill at Christmas. The driver who took me into town said no problem getting home but when I called there were no accessible taxis available. I do not want to go on organised nights out.

  • I am not a wheelchair user but my mate Bryan is and we often miss the last train home on match days. Bryan weighs 16+stone and his electric wheelchair is bigger than most other chairs. It has become a bit of a joke to find a taxi to get us back home as nearly every company does not have suitable taxis available at night. Lock-ins are our only salvation. Shame!

  • There just are not enough wheelchair accessible taxis. Its ok having new laws but what about us wheelchair users who cant get anywhere as the taxis just are not available unless we pre book at least 24 hours before. I want to join my friends and family on nights out. Pease can we lobby for more accessible taxis.

  • I totally agree nick

  • Hi Everyone,

    We are currently researching disabled peoples experiences of using taxis across Wales. We have been made aware of a number of issues. We want to know how wide spread these issues are. Please take 5 minutes to tell us your own experiences by completing our short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WT59VQ6

    Your responses will be very helpful. Thank you

  • Wll all this lead to more accessible taxis that secure wheelchairs safely?

  • It is certainly raising awareness to the situation. I have been contacted by the media who are keeping an eye on this forum and the Disability Wales survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WT59VQ6 is worth completing.

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