Published on 9 March 2023
A taxi driver who refused to take a disabled passenger has had his licence, issued by Stratford-on-Avon District, revoked following a meeting of Stratford-on-Avon District Council's Licensing Panel.
Licensing Officers at the District Council received a complaint from a member of the public who was in a mobility scooter, that the driver, Mr Parker, refused to carry him in his Hackney Carriage vehicle whilst plying for hire on a taxi rank within Stratford on Avon town centre.
Mr Parker aged 69 and from Shipston-on-Stour has been a licensed Hackney Carriage driver since 1991 and has received a considerable number of warnings and action taken against him for a variety of matters relating to his Dual Driver's and Hackney Carriage Licence.
Mr Parker breached his duty under s165 of the Equality Act 2010 which requires drivers of a designated wheelchair accessible taxi to carry a wheelchair user without charging extra, and any non-exempt driver to provide reasonable assistance to any wheelchair user. Section 164a of the same Act imposes a duty on drivers to provide reasonable mobility assistance.
Cllr Christopher Kettle, Legal and Community Safety Portfolio at the District Council said: "Under the Equality Act, licensed taxi drivers using accessible vehicles must not discriminate against disabled passengers and they should also give them assistance when required.
"Actions such as these is inexcusable and certainly not the high standard that we expect from our licensed drivers who all undergo disability awareness training to ensure they are aware of their legal obligation."
Cllr Chris Mills, Licensing Panel Chairman said: "We have a duty to ensure all taxi drivers in Stratford District comply with the terms and conditions of our licensing policy, which places paramount importance on the safety of the public.
"Taxi drivers hold a position of trust and have a duty of care, and when drivers fail in this duty we have no hesitation in revoking their licence."
From 1st January 2010, all Hackney Carriage vehicles licensed by Stratford-on-Avon District Council are required to be wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) so that those members of the community who are disabled or have mobility issues and who require assistance have reasonable access to transport by way of a Hackney Carriage.
The driver now has a period of 21 days to appeal against the decision to a Magistrate's Court.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575