EXTRA CHARGE FOR WHEELCHAIRS CONTINUED

Published Date
15/09/2011
yellow taxi

You probably remember my blog regarding being charged time and a half to use an accessible taxi recently http://www.mdctrailblazers.org/blogs/824_extra-charge-to-use-a-taxi-again

Since the blog I contacted the manager of Apple taxis again. I asked if all customers using wheelchair accessible vehicles would pay more? The answer given was no they only charge time and a half for wheelchairs.

The reason I was given was because if i booked a taxi being a wheelchair user then i could only book a specific accessible one but if i was able bodied and booked a taxi then they could send any taxi including the accessible one to that person.  

I also asked for a costing for a journey from the centre of weston-super-mare to Sainsburys in Worle. Normal cost return in an accessible taxi for an able bodied person is around £10 to £12 , the same taxi for a wheelchair user would be £18 return. Its a round trip of 10 miles taking around 15 to 20 minutes each way.  

In comparison a standard class single (without the use of a disabled rail pass from weston to bristol temple meads and approx 25 miles) via a great western train would be around £6, therefore total return journey cost would be £12. Also a train from weston-super-mare to worle would be £1.80 for standard class single with no disabled rail pass) 

Unlimited travel on a first bus around weston-super-mare for a whole day is £4.00 without a bus pass.

The general manager also mentioned that due to the company consisting of self employed drivers that he couldnt guarantee an accessible taxi if you booked days in advance. This is due to if the driver decided to suddenly not work on that day, there is no guarantee they would have another accessible taxi 

I also spoke to the licensing officer again who had told the manager that some of what he had written above was incorrect. Also like mentioned before that under legislation the local Authority has no power to set fares for private hire. If its a Hackney Carriage then the council sets the fares which are the same for who ever uses them. Of course its much harder to flag down a hackney in weston due to not many being available. 

What do other trailblazers think about this? Do you have the same problem with being charged time and a half for using private hire taxis or do you get charged the same as everyone else?

This problem obviously exists in other parts of the country according to this news report last month. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14527162

 

 

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