This is not a post directly related to disability and inequality within churches, but rather one that will affect many people who attend church. Thus I have decided to post it for you to share with everyone in your parish who may find the information of use.
The media, as well as many blogs and Facebook instalments, have highlighted the problems disabled people face when wishing to access private hire vehicles. From the sixth of April (2017 next month) another part of the Equality Act 2010 is enabled.[i]
What the newly enacted law, qualifies within the Equality Act 2010, that not all Taxi’s and private hire vehicles must be able to carry a wheelchair user ‘in their wheelchair’.[ii] So the person requiring the use of a taxi must ensure that when phoning for one, that they make it clear that they need a cab that permits them to enter and exit whilst remaining in their chair.[iii]
For passengers who can get out of their chair and into the vehicle then the driver must secure the disabled persons chair, and any luggage for them.[iv] The legislation also says that the driver should; “give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required.” [v] How this sits next to the safety of the driver is confusing and unclear, especially if a driver is injured helping the person?
The driver does not have to carry a second person in a wheelchair at the same time if the driver does not think it is safe. I will avoid boring you with the other safety details, but never the less anyone being transported must be safe.[vi]
Finally a disabled person must not be charged more for their journey just because of their additional need.
Any breach of this legislation can lead to a fine of unto £1,000. for the driver[vii]
Cite this article as: Fr. Jeffrey A.Leach.OSP, " Taxi fees and refusal to carry disabled passengers" in Disabling Barriers to Church Blog, 7th March 2017, http://disablingbarrierstochurch.blogspot.co.uk/
[i] 2017 No. 107 The Equality Act 2010 (Commencement No. 12) Order 2017 which brings into force sections 165 and 167.
[ii] Ibid Section 167
[iii] Equality Act 2010 Section 165 (4)
[iv] Ibid 165 (5)(c)(d)
[v] Ibid 165 (4)(e)
[vi] Ibid 165 (5)
[vii] ibid 2010 s.165 (4)(b)