In positive news for disabled people in London, from today a new law will punish taxi and private hire drivers if they refuse to transport people in wheelchairs or if they attempt to charge them extra. The drivers could also face losing their license in extreme cases. The bill was announced in parliament by Transport Minister Andrew Jones back in February.
The bill also demands that taxi drivers must provide passengers with proper assistants, and charge them the same as non-wheelchair users. This is a big result for those who find it difficult to find accessible travel and will push transport companies to modify their vehicles.
This law comes into place and supplements anti-discrimination laws that prevent transport services denying users with assistant dogs in taxis and private hire vehicles.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “We want to build a country which works for everyone, and part of that is ensuring disabled people have the same access to services and opportunities as anyone else – including when it comes to travel. People who use wheelchairs are often heavily reliant on taxis and private hire vehicles and this change to the law will mean fair and equal treatment for all.”
Whilst all London Black Cabs in the capital are fitted with disabled wheelchair access, this will prevent some employees from attempting to charge more on the meter, and will encourage private hire companies such as Uber or Lyft to put more emphasis on building their disabled access vehicles.