Changes to the law
Requirements of the Equality Act 2010 came into force on 6 April 2017 and there are sections within it which are aimed directly at Hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire drivers and vehicles: Sections 160 to 173 of the Equality Act 2010 (legislation.gov.uk)
It is now a criminal offence for drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles to refuse to carry passengers in wheelchairs or with guide or assistance dogs.
The government has updated its guidance for local licencing authorities on the taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) duties under the Equality Act 2010. The Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Act 2022 will be in force from 28 June 2022, this will amend the Equality Act 2010.
Under Section 165 of the Act, a driver is required to undertake the following duties:
- To carry a passenger while they are in a wheelchair
- To not make an additional charge for doing so
- If the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the wheelchair
- To take such steps that are necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort
- To give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required
Guide or assistance dogs
Guide dogs are working dogs not pets; their owners rely on them for both independence and mobility. The Equality Act 2010 places a duty on taxi and private hire drivers to carry guide dogs and other assistance dogs at no extra cost.
Unless they have a medical exemption certificate, taxi and private hire drivers must:
- Carry the assistance dog in their vehicle and allow it to remain with its owner
- Not charge extra for carrying an assistance dog in their vehicle
Private hire companies must not refuse a booking or refuse to carry out a booking due to someone having an assistance dog with them.
Drivers can apply to us for an exemption (certificate) from the duties to assist passengers in wheelchairs or with guide dogs, either on medical grounds or because their physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for them to comply with the duties.
For more information contact Licensing
List of wheelchair accessible vehicles designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Equality Act 2010
- Plate 302, Hinckley Taxis: Citroen Berlingo, NK14 EFC
- Plate 4, A 2 Z Taxis: Peugeot Horizon, SF13 LMK
- Plate 2, A 2 Z Taxis: Ford Tourneo, KX65 YBN
The statutory guidance has been updated from the version published in February 2017 to reflect the amendments made by the Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Act 2022 ('the 2022 Act') to the Equality Act 2010. It provides both statutory and non-statutory guidance on the duties and offences under the taxi and private hire vehicle sections in the Equality Act 2010, including those introduced as a result of the 2022 Act, with updated text on the previously existing duties and offences. Therefore, this guidance Access to taxi and private hire vehicles for disabled users (GOV.UK) should be used as a stand-alone document.
Last updated:23/05/2023 16:45