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£1,000 fines help stop taxi and PHV drivers discriminating against disabled users, says Minister

Updated: Mar 18, 2022

Convictions and fines of up to £1,000 help stop taxi and private hire drivers discriminating against disabled users said a Government Minister after questions on the subject.

The Minister also drew attention to legislation that prevents non-exempt taxi drivers from refusing entry to assistance dog owners or charging those with disabilities more for their services.

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, asked the Secretary of State for Transport what legal protections and enforcement mechanisms are in place to help protect disabled passengers from experiencing discrimination when using licenced taxi cabs.

Trudy Harrison, Department for Transport Minister, responded: “Wheelchair users travelling in taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs) designated as being wheelchair accessible and assistance dog owners travelling in any taxi or PHV are protected from discriminatory treatment by Sections 165, 168 and 170 of the Equality Act 2010, which prevent non-exempt drivers from refusing them carriage or charging them more than other passengers.

“Local taxi and PHV licensing authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases referred to them, and convicted drivers face fines of up to £1,000.

“However, the Government recognises that the law is inconsistent in its application, and is supporting the Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Bill introduced by Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC MP, which seeks to extend the existing protections to any disabled person when travelling by any taxi or PHV.”

A new Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles Disabled Persons Bill has been proposed, with the main aim of addressing the discrimination that a wide range of passengers with disabilities still face.

Support for the new Bill also arrived from the Government and the Opposition Shadow Transport Minister earlier this month when insight into the new proposed Private Members Bill was shared in the 2nd Reading stage at the House of Commons.



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