Push to ensure fair deal for disabled in taxis

Andrew Clark
Andrew Clark

The ‘unacceptable’ treatment of disabled people by taxi companies is to be tackled.

Aylesbury Vale District Council is to work with disability charity BuDs and the Spinal Injuries Association to improve access and equality.

Some vehicles are unable to take wheelchair users and there are variations in prices.

BuDs trustees chair Andrew Clark said: “I want to see a situation where a disabled person can be in Aylesbury town centre and go to a taxi rank and get a taxi just like everybody else.”

Mr Clark said the issue of pricing is a particularly difficult one to resolve.

He said: “Part of me thinks it’s unacceptable disabled people should have to pay more for the same taxi ride.

“The reality is there are very few companies that have wheelchair accessible vehicles and they cost a lot more.

“They have to get that money back which they do by charging more.”

Mr Clark recently met the council’s senior licensing officer for taxis, Kyle Bennett, to discuss the issues.

Mr Bennet said the council wants to eradicate discrimination.

He said: “This partnership will aim to tackle training for the drivers in order to increase their understanding of users with ambulatory problems.

“It will also look to ensure that prices charged for the hire of taxis are charged fairly and proportionately to all users and not penalise disabled users.”

The council will also work with private hire companies to try to make prices fairer.