Taxi driver trouble as licensing officers highlight illegal loading of wheelchair passenger 

A Liverpool hackney carriage taxi driver has faced criticism from Liverpool City Council (LCC) Licensing for his failure to secure a wheelchair passenger.

The unnamed driver was caught with a wheelchair passenger facing sideways in the back of his vehicle for a journey, rather than the legal rear-facing position, as per his licence condition.

LCC Licensing took to social media to highlight the issue - one which they are coming down hard on recently.

But many readers and colleagues of the taxi driver have pointed out that on this occasion, the wheelchair is electric and offers up a few extra difficulties when loading.

Standard push-wheelchairs are a lot lighter and easier to maneuver into place and also offer easier access to strapping areas at the bottom and rear.

One social media user said: "All TX [traditional black taxi] are not fit for purpose and should be took off the road. It's sold as a wheelchair accessible vehicle but can only take half the wheelchairs on the road."

Another, wrote: "If they can turn them, the wheel movement destroys your mat (£80 worth)."

A spokesperson for Wirral Council, said: "We are committed to ensuring that all drivers licensed by Wirral Council comply with the relevant laws and conditions relating to carriage of wheelchairs."

Mantax Taxis from Manchester raised the issue of electric wheelchairs with Licensing Compliance, who noted: 'All wheelchairs have to be strapped in - it's illegal not to do so.

'You can check if the chair can fir in your cab in the proper manner, but if it doesn't, you will have to refuse the job.

'This applies to all customers whether cash or credit, and if their wheelchairs do not meet the above criteria they will have to be refused in a sensitive manner.'

Image credit: Twitter - @lcc_licensing

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