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Disability transport

Has anyone experience of how the "equal fare" legislation has severely and adversely impacted upon the ability for wheelchair users to use taxis at all?

In our area taxis firms who have previously transported one or more wheelchair-bound users to social events, leisure activities, day care centres, clinics etc. have withdrawn such services. Hospital transport and buses are not viable alternatives for the severely disabled/carers. Users now have little or no options but to remain home-bound meaning that they are discriminated against access within the community.

Despite the Eastern Daily Press and BBC Look East running this as a news item recently - there is complete impass when trying to alert the authorities and seek a workable solution. A pro-active campaign may attract attention?

Replies

  • edited 29 August 2018 at 6:48AM
    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    edited 29 August 2018 at 6:48AM
    never heard of equal fare legislation. Care to provide a link?
  • I haven't heard of it either. In Merseyside we have a Dial-A-Ride type of service for wheelchair users and others with disabilities. I haven't used it myself, but I know that neighbours use it. You might want to see if there is something available where you live. Ours is run by Merseytravel, not the council.
  • edited 29 August 2018 at 8:54AM
    Enterprise_1701CEnterprise_1701C Forumite
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    edited 29 August 2018 at 8:54AM
    Not so much equal fare legislation as equal treatment, which also means they cannot charge more for transporting wheelchair users.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/law-change-demands-equal-treatment-for-disabled-taxi-users

    Everyone shouted about how they wanted to stop disability discrimination, maybe you didn't quite realise that some of that discrimination was in favour of disabled people. Maybe sometimes it is simply not economically viable to transport wheelchair bound people for the same price as normally able people, with al the extra work it can entail.

    If you want to continue as normal then maybe you should suggest to the legislators that a change to the law should be made such that extra can be charged for all the extra work.

    Taxi drivers have to make a living.
    What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare
  • edited 29 August 2018 at 9:28AM
    soolinsoolin Forumite, Ambassador
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    edited 29 August 2018 at 9:28AM
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/law-change-demands-equal-treatment-for-disabled-taxi-users

    The link raises some interesting points and I would question the last statement on this cut and paste:

    " The new rules will apply in England, Wales and Scotland affecting vehicles that are designated as wheelchair accessible and will apply to both taxis and private hire vehicles. All taxis in London and a significant number in most major urban centres are wheelchair accessible." Locally, I'm Greater London) virtually all of our private hire cabs and Uber cabs are estate cars or Prius, none of which can take a wheelchair without being folded.

    This definitely looks like an unintended consequence of forcing through something that is designed to make life easier, but in fact does the opposite. So all a cab has to do is state it is not wheelchair accessible and they don't even have to try- as above i can't imagine anyone trying to make ends meet by driving a private car is going to change a vehicle for a minority of passengers.

    This is also against the green policy which in London certainly has heavily encouraged drivers to use Prius hybrid cars.

    EDIT: In my father's last years he used a small wheelchair on occasions when his brain forgot how to walk (Vascular dementia) and I had wonderful service from local cab companies who went out of their way to assist me with my father who was often unwilling to travel in a car. I had drivers come into his home and coax him out, then spend 15 minutes trying to get him into a car before even attempting to fold and store a chair, and then do it all the other end at the hospital. At no point was I ever charged extra for this service, and I often felt guilty that a quick 10 minute ride often took nearer 30 minutes. I suppose with this 2017 law the cab company now just needs to state they are not accessible and they can refuse to send a cab.
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  • w06w06 Forumite
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    by taxis in that bit where it says they're all accessible it means black cab 'hackeny taxis'
  • KxMxKxMx Forumite
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    The main taxi firms here don't cater well to wheelchair users, either.

    The local council gives out a list of individual drivers who have a WAV and their numbers so people can request direct.
  • tomtom256tomtom256 Forumite
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    Not so much equal fare legislation as equal treatment, which also means they cannot charge more for transporting wheelchair users.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/law-change-demands-equal-treatment-for-disabled-taxi-users

    Everyone shouted about how they wanted to stop disability discrimination, maybe you didn't quite realise that some of that discrimination was in favour of disabled people. Maybe sometimes it is simply not economically viable to transport wheelchair bound people for the same price as normally able people, with al the extra work it can entail.

    If you want to continue as normal then maybe you should suggest to the legislators that a change to the law should be made such that extra can be charged for all the extra work.

    Taxi drivers have to make a living.


    Most taxi drivers I come across make a pittance according to their returns/income declarations and rely on benefits to top up their low/non-existent wage.
  • The comments so far rightly state that running taxis/being a driver is not easy nor profitable and that taking on disabled clients worsens their situation. That is a fair and commercial observation. The issue is not with such wonderful people but with the lack of alternative provision generated by discriminatory legislation |(whether intended or not). The available services here include special services usually in a run-around WAV by volunteers taking the most diverse/time consuming routes to cater for different users onboard - not conducive to getting to appointments or community events which taxis could do. The black taxi is unsuitable unless an E7 and even some of these seem to exclude out-of hours travel!!!
  • sevenhillssevenhills Forumite
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    Simon_Bond wrote: »
    Has anyone experience of how the "equal fare" legislation has severely and adversely impacted upon the ability for wheelchair users to use taxis at all?


    I have never been one for giving tips myself, but if you find a good local taxi firm, maybe you should tip?
  • It is not a matter of tipping but the more serious issue of whether firms actually provide a WAV service at all. It is very difficult where users cannot transfer to seats and are totally relient upon their chair.
This discussion has been closed.
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