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West Suffolk Council seeking feedback on taxi accessibility after removing wheelchair requirement

Image credit: West Suffolk Council

West Suffolk Council has initiated a survey to evaluate the accessibility of the local taxi trade, ensuring it meets the diverse needs of all passengers, including those with disabilities.

In July 2022, the council removed the mandate requiring all new and replacement taxis to be wheelchair accessible. This decision came with a commitment to conduct an unmet demand survey to gauge the impact of this change.

The newly launched survey targets taxi customers, businesses, health professionals, and community and charity organisations supporting people with mobility needs or disabilities. It is also open to individuals who avoid using taxis due to accessibility issues, inviting them to share their experiences.

Additionally, the council has already sought the opinions of taxi drivers and operators through a similar survey.

Cllr Gerald Kelly, Cabinet Member for Governance, Regulatory and Environment at West Suffolk Council, said: “The taxi trade in West Suffolk plays a significant role in supporting our local economy, including leisure, tourism and education.

“The purpose of this passenger and public survey is to establish whether people, including passengers with mobility needs or disabilities, can get a taxi when they need it. This includes looking at where the ranks are to establish if they are still in the right locations, the number of bays on those ranks as well as the vehicles themselves to ensure for instance that people whatever their mobility or disability needs may be, can access a taxi when and where they need to. We are also seeking the views of the taxi trade through a similar survey.

“The outcome of these surveys will then be discussed with the trade alongside evidence, data, benchmarking and national guidance, as we look to engage and work with them around any improvement and our strategic priorities for sustainable growth, thriving communities and environmental resilience.

“Through this we will work to ensure we have a taxi fleet that is thriving, with drivers able to earn a decent living, that is safe both in terms of the vehicles on the road and the drivers behind the wheel, that is accessible to people of all needs right across our district, and has a reduced impact in terms of carbon emissions as we work toward net zero.”


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