Changes to the Disability Equality Act 2010
On 28 June 2022 substantial changes came into force which impact all Drivers and Operators. The new bill is called the 'Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Bill' and imposes duties on both drivers and operators to ensure that ALL disabled passengers, whether the disability is visible or not, are not discriminated against.
It was already unlawful for a driver to refuse to transport a wheelchair user, or attempt to charge them extra. With effect from 28 June 2022 changes were introduced to address inconsistencies in the previous provision and expand the protection to all disabled people, regardless of the vehicle they travel in.
All drivers are now duty bound to:
to take such steps as are reasonable to help disabled passenger to identify and find the vehicle which they have booked. This would be on the condition that the driver is made aware before the start of the journey that the passenger requires assistance to identify or find the vehicle. This would be particularly helpful for visually impaired passengers and those with learning disabilities or cognitive impairments
carry a passenger, regardless of impairment
if the passenger is in or has with them a wheelchair, to carry the wheelchair at no additional cost
if the passenger has with them any mobility aids, to carry the mobility aids at no additional cost
give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required. This may involve helping a passenger transfer to the vehicle, folding wheelchairs, adjusting seats, or any other reasonable modification to ensure the trip is safe and comfortable
carry an assistance dog if asked, at no extra charge, and allow the dog to remain with the passenger
not make, or propose to make, any additional charge for complying with a duty mentioned in the above points.
We maintain a Designated List of wheelchair-accessible vehicles which is available on the link here.
Please let your local Operator know when you book your journey if you need any assistance getting in and out of the vehicle.
The changes which have been brought in aim to reduce discrimination against disabled people and address the barriers they face when accessing Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles. These changes have a significant impact on how you deal with customers. If you are found to be neglecting these duties you may be prosecuted.
If you have any questions regarding the changes or need further clarification please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help. Please ensure that you include your contact details and badge number in the email.
All Operators have a duty to ensure that when a vehicle is booked by, or on behalf of, a disabled person, or by someone wishing to travel with a disabled person, that the booking is accepted, and that no additional charge is made for the booking if they are made aware of the disability at the time of booking.
We would recommend that all booking staff double-check with all customers at the point of booking if any additional assistance is required.
Any driver who holds an exemption certificate issued in accordance with section 166 of the Act will be exempt from the duties to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required under sections 164A and 165.
Other duties, such as to carry the passenger and not make additional charges, still apply to drivers who hold medical certificates.
If you would like to apply for an exemption certificate please email email@example.com. Please ensure that you include your contact details and badge number in the email.
Under the Equality Act 2010, licensed drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles are under a duty to carry passengers with guide, hearing and other assistance dogs without additional charge. Drivers can apply to the Council for an exemption certificate which excludes them from carrying assistance dogs on medical grounds.
The Guide Dogs Association has produced a video to help drivers understand the needs of people with assistance dogs, please make yourself aware of these very useful tips.
Transport for London have produced a very useful guide on the different type of assistance dog, please see the link to view the poster. http://content.tfl.gov.uk/new-assistance-dogs-ad.pdf
Craven District Council will take any refusal to carry assistance dogs very seriously. If you as a passenger are unfortunate enough to be refused carriage of your assistance dog please obtain as much information as possible about the driver/vehicle (in particular the vehicle licence reference number and driver reference number) and contact the Licensing team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The majority of drivers in Craven are professional and courteous and most journeys take place with no issues. However if you do experience any issues please contact us to raise your concerns. Information for doing so can be found here.
Please find below some additional information which you may find useful:
- Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Act 2022 (legislation.gov.uk)
- Department for Transport Statutory guidance on Access to Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles for Disabled Users
- List of Designated Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles – link to a list of all designated wheelchair-accessible Taxis and Private Hire vehicles in the Craven district