The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association put Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins taxi hailing skills to the test in a football-themed game aimed at highlighting the difficulties caused for blind people turned away by taxi drivers.
Toby said, “I have been contacted by disabled constituents in the past who have been turned away by taxi drivers due to having a wheelchair or an assistance dog with them and it has left them frustrated and hurt. Drivers need to be aware that this isn’t just a case of bad service, they are breaking the law.”
The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for a taxi or minicab driver to refuse to take an assistance dog or to charge extra for carrying it. However, Guide Dogs research found that 42% of assistance dog owners have been turned away by a taxi or minicab in a one-year period because of their dog. The research also uncovered that 38% of assistance dog owners have been asked to pay an extra fare for carrying their dog.
Toby said, “I support The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association campaign calling for all taxi and minicab drivers to undertake disability equality training so they understand the rights and needs of disabled passengers and feel confident to offer assistance. I urge the Government to introduce legislation making this a requirement of all minicab and taxi licences”.