Transport of disabled passengers and assistant dogs
Obligations on taxi and PHV transport providers
Disabled passengers travelling by taxi or PHV have rights:
Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010, requires service providers to make reasonable adjustments to enable access to their services.
Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010, requires non-exempt drivers of taxis and PHVs designated as wheelchair accessible to accept the carriage of wheelchair users, to provide them with appropriate assistance, and to refrain from charging more than other passengers for the same service.
Sections 168 and 170 of the Equality Act 2010, requires non-exempt drivers of taxis and PHVs to accept the carriage of assistance dogs and to refrain from charging extra for them.
All taxi and minicab drivers must ensure they do not discriminate against and cannot treat anybody less favorably.
Taxi and PHV complaints and enforcement process
Passengers who feel a driver has failed to comply with Sections 165, 168 or 170 of the Equality Act 2010 should contact the Council which licenses the driver/vehicle. In Craven, the Licensing Authority is Craven District Council.
Section 165 of the of the Equalities Act 2010 sets out the duties placed on drivers of designated wheelchair-accessible taxis and private hire vehicles (PHV).
The duties are:
- To carry the passenger while in the wheelchair
- Not to make any additional charge for doing so
- If the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the wheelchair into the vehicle
- To take such steps as are necessary to ensure the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort
- To give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required.
The Act defines mobility assistance as:
- To enable the passenger to get in or out of the vehicle
- If the passenger wishes to remain in the wheelchair, to enable the passenger to get in and out of the vehicle while in the wheelchair
- To load the passenger's luggage in or out of the vehicle
- If the passenger does not wish to remain in the wheelchair, to load the wheelchair in or out of the vehicle
If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Licensing team.
Unless exempt, it is an offence for the driver of a taxi or PHV on the licensing authority's designated list to fail to comply. Please contact a member of the team to see the list.
Although each situation will be different, we take the view that reasonable mobility assistance will be subject to other applicable laws, including health and safety legislation.
We always expect drivers to provide assistance. This might include folding manual wheelchairs and placing them in the luggage compartment, installing the boarding ramp, or securing a wheelchair within the passenger compartment.
Depending on the weight of the wheelchair, and the capability of the driver, reasonable mobility assistance could also include pushing a manual wheelchair or light-electric wheelchair up a ramp, or stowing a light-electric wheelchair in the luggage compartment.
The requirement not to charge a wheelchair user extra means a meter should not be left running while the driver performs duties required by the Act, or the passenger enters, leaves, or secures their wheelchair within the passenger compartment.
Some drivers may have a medical condition, a disability, or physical condition which makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for them to provide the sort of physical assistance required.
That is why the Act under Section 166 allows Councils to grant exemptions to individual drivers.
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.
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 and driver reference) and contact the Licensing team.
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
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.