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Disability and travelling by taxi

Disabled passengers and accessibility - know your rights

Wheelchairs

Wheelchair user getting into a taxi Taxi and wheelchair-accessible private hire vehicles are a vital resource for mobility impaired people in Slough. Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010 obliges drivers of wheelchair-accessible taxis and private hire vehicles to carry wheelchair users and provide mobility assistance without additional charge.

Drivers of designated taxis and private hire wheelchair-accessible vehicles have a legal duty to:

  • transport the passenger while in the wheelchair
  • not make any additional charge for doing so
  • if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to transport the wheelchair
  • take such steps as are necessary to ensure the passenger is transported in safety and reasonable comfort
  • give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required - which the Equality Act 2010 defines as:
    • to enable the passenger to get into or out of the vehicle
    • if the passenger wishes to remain in the wheelchair, to enable the passenger to get into and out of the vehicle while in the wheelchair
    • if the passenger does not wish to remain in the wheelchair, to load the wheelchair into or out of the vehicle
    • io load the passenger’s luggage into or out of the vehicle.

Non-compliant drivers are liable to prosecution and fines of up to £1,000. The driver’s continued fitness to hold a licence may also be reviewed. The only grounds for exemption are medical, or that a physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for a driver to comply with these duties. Applications for exemptions must be made to us. Drivers must carry their exemption certificate with them in order for the exemption to be valid.

Fares

The driver of a ‘designated wheelchair accessible taxi’ (with a taxi meter) cannot charge a wheelchair user extra, in practice, 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.

Private hire operators (minicab companies) have responsibilities under the general provisions of the Act not to discriminate when providing a service - that includes not charging passengers more because they are disabled.

Travelling by taxi, minicab or chauffeur with an assistance dog

    Passenger with assistance dog in taxi
  • A driver can’t refuse your journey because you have an assistance dog
  • A driver can’t charge you more because you have an assistance dog
  • A private hire minicab company can’t refuse to accept your booking because you have an assistance dog
  • Your dog should always be able to sit next to you during your journey
  • When you are booking a journey, tell the person taking the booking that you have an assistance dog

Drivers or companies refusing assistance dogs

Any taxi or private hire vehicle (minicab) driver, or company who refuses a fare, or charges an additional fee because a passenger has an assistance dog faces prosecution by Slough Borough Council and the possible loss of their licence.

If you have an assistance dog and are refused a journey or charged more, you can report this to the licensing team. All complaints will be fully investigated.

A small number of taxi and private hire (minicab) drivers have an exemption from allowing assistance dogs in their vehicle. This is only granted on medical grounds and not for any other reason. Drivers granted an exemption must carry or display an exemption certificate in their taxi or minicab.

Booking a taxi

You can hail a taxi on the street or at designated taxi ranks. You can also book a taxi by phone, online or by using an app.

Booking a private hire vehicle (minicab)

When using a private hire vehicle (minicab) you must make sure it is booked with a licenced private hire company. You can book a vehicle at a booking office, by phone, online or by using an app. Unbooked vehicles are illegal and could be unsafe.

To check a private hire vehicle is the one you have booked make sure you

  • ask the driver to confirm your name and destination
  • ask the driver to confirm their licence number
  • where possible, ask the driver to show you their driver’s identification badge which has their photo and name on.

How to contact us if there is a problem

If you experience a problem, please let us know. Contact us at:
The Licensing Team, Slough Borough Council, Observatory House, 25 Windsor Road, Slough, SL1 2EL
Tel: 01753 875664
Email: licensing@slough.gov.uk

Contact us

Online
Contact Licensing form

Telephone
01753 875664
Mon to Fri 9.30 am - 4.30 pm

In person
MyCouncil
Mon to Fri 9.30 am - 4.30 pm