Accessible taxis

Obligations on taxi and PHV transport providers. Disabled passengers travelling by taxi or PHV have rights

  • Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010, requires service providers to make reasonable adjustments to enable access to their services.
  • Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010, requires non-exempt drivers of taxis and PHVs designated as wheelchair accessible to accept the carriage of wheelchair users, to provide them with appropriate assistance, and to refrain from charging more than other passengers for the same service.
  • Sections 168 and 170 of the Equality Act 2010, requires non-exempt drivers of taxis and PHVs to accept the carriage of assistance dogs and to refrain from charging extra for them.

As well as rules on wheelchairs and assistance dogs, all taxi and minicab drivers must ensure they do not discriminate against and can not treat anybody less favourably.

Taxi and PHV complaints and enforcement process

Passengers who feel a driver has failed to comply with Sections 165, 168 or 170 of the Equality Act 2010 should contact the council that licenses the driver/vehicle.

Wheelchair accessible vehicles

Section 165 of the Equalities Act 2010 sets out the duties placed on drivers of designated wheelchair-accessible taxis and private hire vehicles (PHV).

The duties are

  • to carry the passenger while in the wheelchair
  • not to make any additional charge for doing so
  • if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the wheelchair in the vehicle
  • to take such steps as are necessary to ensure the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort
  • to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required

The Act then defines mobility assistance as

  • to enable the passenger to get in or out of the vehicle
  • if the passenger wishes to remain in the wheelchair, to enable the passenger to get in and out of the vehicle while in the wheelchair
  • to load the passenger's luggage in or out of the vehicle
  • if the passenger does not wish to remain in the wheelchair, to load the wheelchair in or out of the vehicle

If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the licensing section.

Unless exempt, it is an offence for the driver of a taxi or PHV on the licensing authority's designated list to fail to comply.

Although each situation will be different, we take the view that reasonable mobility assistance will be subject to other applicable laws, including health and safety legislation.

We always expect drivers to provide assistance. This might include folding manual wheelchairs and placing them in the luggage compartment, installing the boarding ramp, or securing a wheelchair within the passenger compartment.

Depending on the weight of the wheelchair, and the capability of the driver, reasonable mobility assistance could also include pushing a manual wheelchair or light-electric wheelchair up a ramp, or stowing a light-electric wheelchair in the luggage compartment.

The requirement not to charge a wheelchair user extra means a meter should not be left running while the driver performs duties required by the Act, or the passenger enters, leaves, or secures their wheelchair within the passenger compartment.

Some drivers may have a medical condition, a disability, or physical condition, that makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for them to provide the sort of physical assistance required.

That is why the Act under Section 166 allows councils to grant exemptions to individual drivers.

Seatbelts

The law regarding seatbelts can be confusing and there are some exemptions for taxis and private hire vehicles, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) produce a useful guide to this. Seat belt law

Get in touch about licensing

The quickest way to contact us is by using our online forms which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need to speak to us give us a call and talk to our Customer Services team who will be happy to help. Alternatively, you can email the service direct.

Telephone: 01932 838383