Taxis and private hire vehicles must carry wheelchairs

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From April 6, 2017, it will be illegal for taxi drivers to discriminate against wheelchair users.

Taxi drivers will face a fine of up to £1,000 if they refuse to transport wheelchair users in their vehicles or attempt to charge them extra, Transport Minister Andrew Jones announced.

From April 6 this year, 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 and charge wheelchair users the same as non-wheelchair users.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “We want to build a country that 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 everyone.”

The new rules will apply in England, Wales and Scotland, affecting vehicles that are designated as wheelchair accessible, and will apply to both taxis and private hire vehicles.

All taxis in London and a significant number in most major urban centres are wheelchair accessible.

Drivers may also face having their taxi or private hire vehicle licence suspended or revoked by their licencing authority if they refuse to comply. Drivers unable to provide assistance for medical reasons will be able to apply to their licensing authority for an exemption from the new requirements.