South Gloucestershire cabbies say wheelchair rule could force them out of business

A new rule forcing all new taxis to be wheelchair accessible have been criticised by South Gloucestershire cabbies, with one company claiming that it could impact on the "street hail."

The cabbies have stated that the new rule is discriminatory and could force cab drivers out of business as prices could be pushed up to mitigate the cost of the new vehicle.

It is also claimed that heavy wheelchairs could cause injury to drivers as well as causing issues for disabled cabbies who cannot manage to manipulate a wheelchair.

There are fears that this could see the end to an already decimated hackney carriage industry in the area.

The new rule applies to all new taxis licensed after April 1st 2019, it does not apply to private hire vehicles.

Cheltenham Borough Council are imposing the strict new rules and regulations on taxi drivers in that many believe will affect taxi users in town. Under their new policies all taxis within the town will have to be wheelchair accessible by 2021. A petition has been created by local taxi driver David Chambers to challenge the council’s decision. Mr Chambers said “This will mean that there will be potentially over 250 wheelchair accessible vehicles. There will be no more freedom of choice for the public. “This new ruling also discriminates against the elderly and mobility impaired who cannot access these vehicles.”

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