Andrew Gwynne MP will introduce a new Accessibility Bill in the House of Commons which, if it enters the statute books, will make it mandatory for all taxi license applicants to receive training on the rights of blind people with guide dogs to access their services.
Blind people with guide dogs have a legal right to access taxi services, but some drivers refuse to accept their custom, which can be confidence shattering.
To stop refusals happening, drivers need a full understanding of the rights of disabled people. The Bill will require all taxi and minicab drivers to undertake disability equality training as a condition of obtaining their licence.
The Bill’s First Reading will be on 29th June 2016, and the full Bill, with more substantial detail, will be introduced later this year.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“I was very lucky to be drawn in the Private Members’ Bill ballot, and so I am delighted to be able to support this campaign in Parliament.
“It is a fairly small change in the law that will have a huge impact on the ability of blind people to go about their business.”
Guide Dogs Campaigns Manager, Helen Honstvet, said:
“We are absolutely delighted that Andrew Gwynne MP is taking forward a Bill to ensure that all taxi and minicab drivers have disability equality training. Guide dog owners have told us that taxis and minicabs turn them away with shocking regularity because their dog isn’t welcome. This can crush people’s confidence and stops them doing the everyday things that most people take for granted.
“This Bill, if made law, will ensure that all taxi and minicab drivers understand their duties under the Equality Act and improve the experience of getting a taxi for many people living with a disability.”