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Website to help disabled users of adapted taxi drivers

Moves are under way to end ‘discrimination’ against disabled users of adapted taxis.

The environment overview and scrutiny committee of South Kesteven District Council has recommended that the council’s cabinet introduces changes as recommended by the government.

The move, if confirmed, will also see taxi companies who offer specially adapted taxis to wheelchair users, listed on the SKDC website.

Cabinet member for the environment, Coun Dr Peter Moseley, said the measures will affect severely disabled users who cannot get out of their wheelchairs and need to use the specially adapted taxis.

South Kesteven has six such taxis, three in Grantham and three in Stamford.

It has been illegal since April 2017 for taxi and private hire drivers to discriminate against wheelchair users.

Drivers of wheelchair-accessible vehicles are obliged to transport wheelchair users in their wheelchair and charge them the same fare as any other passenger.

Taxi drivers also need good reason to refuse a fare from a disabled person, such has having another booking already.

Independent councillor Ashley Baxter welcomed the move but said government should make such changes optional rather than compulsory.

Coun Baxter then asked what support the council was doing to encourage the provision of such adapted taxis from the district’s taxi drivers.

Coun Moseley said the council gives a 20 per cent discount in licensing charges but it was up to the ‘market’ the determine the right level of provision.

He explained: “The market will do it for us which is why some drivers have adapted vehicles already. There are very, very few people who require this. If the market dictates more demand, I am sure more taxi firms will adapt their vehicles but this is a very expensive thing for them to do.”

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