Taxis or minicab companies provide services to the public and therefore they must not discriminate against you and should make reasonable adjustments for you under the Equality Act 2010.
Since April 2017 the provisions of the Equality Act that give extra protection to Disabled wheelchair users who travel by taxi have been in force. Taxi drivers now face a £1,000 fine for refusing to take a wheelchair user, failing to assist a wheelchair user, or charging them more. But this provision only applies in the local authority areas where councils have put together a designated list of wheelchair accessible taxis.
If you are a wheelchair user who has had problems travelling by taxi, first check if your local authority in the area where you travelled has such a list. If they do, see the next section on complaining and more. If they don’t, you may consider asking them to create a list of wheelchair accessible taxis. This could make a huge difference, not only for you, but many other Disabled wheelchair users who live or travel in the area.
Complaining and more…
If you face any of these challenges when travelling by taxi, you can make a complaint to prevent the same situation from happening again. Your complaint could potentially lead to changes that will help many other Disabled people. In many cases the company will be in breach of the Equality Act and you will be able to take them to court.
It is always worth making a complaint regardless of whether you are thinking of taking legal action or not. Good companies that care about their customers monitor complaints and use them to make improvements.
Thanks to the Disability Justice Project for the information for this post.
Find out more about what you can do if you have problems on a taxi journey