'Shameful' taxi drivers are illegally refusing passengers with guide dogs- MP - The Evesham Observer

'Shameful' taxi drivers are illegally refusing passengers with guide dogs- MP

Evesham Editorial 7th Dec, 2016 Updated: 7th Dec, 2016   0

EVESHAM’S MP Nigel Huddleston has slammed research which found people with sight loss are being turned away by ‘shameful’ taxi drivers because of their guide dog.

Mr Huddleston called on the Government to take action following a Guide Dogs event in Parliament which called for more taxi and minicab drivers to receive disability equality training when getting their license.

The charity made the call after research they carried out found 42 per cent of people living with sight loss were turned away nationwide by a taxi or minicab in the last year because of their guide dog- despite the Equality Act 2010 making it illegal for drivers to do so.

In the wake of their research, the Mid-Worcestershire MP has backed the charity’s call and has urged the Government to make sure all taxi drivers receive disability equality training.

“It is shameful to hear from so many people who are illegally turned away from taxis and minicabs because they travel with an assistance dog,” Mr Huddleston said.

“I’m asking the Government to act to ensure all taxi and minicab drivers receive disability equality training so they are aware of the law and how to assist their disabled customers in the right way.”

James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, said: “Imagine you were turned away by a taxi driver or asked to pay an extra fare, for no good reason. Despite legal protection, this regularly happens to people living with sight loss because they are travelling with a guide dog.

“This discrimination is not only illegal, it knocks people’s confidence and can stop them doing everyday things that most people take for granted.

“We are very disappointed that we didn’t see a vote on the Disability Equality Training Bill. We were encouraged by the Government’s supportive comments and hope they will take action to introduce training for all taxi and minicab drivers.”


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