Able2UK Losers

Taxis refuse to take a disabled passenger because he was with an assistance dog

two-year-old  George a Teacup shih tzu

A man who collapsed from exhaustion due to his physical disability was refused a taxi ride because he was with his assistance dog.

Edward Jones, 46, told BBC News he has been ignored by “at least eight taxis” after trying to flag a cab down outside Chippenham Railway Station.

Wiltshire Council said it was illegal for taxis to carry assistance dogs, their claim is being investigated as the Equality Act 2010 states cabs are obliged to take guide dogs and assistance dogs unless they are in possession of a medical exemption certificate.

Jones said the incident was “devastating and humiliating” because he was unable to move after falling onto the pavement.

He collapsed outside the station on 27 November on his way to the taxi rank, suffering extreme pain. Jones tried to attract the attention of nearby taxis by waving his walking stick in the air.

But the cabbies refused to give him a ride because he was with George, a two-year-old Teacup Shih Tzu, who helps him with his mental health.

"The only thing that stops me breaking is being with my boy and getting out in fresh air," Jones told the BBC.

"He's saved my life, because he makes me get out every day."

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said three members of the public challenged the taxi drivers but were unable to change their minds.

"I was bawling because I was so tired. I honestly thought I'm not going to be able to get home," Jones went on to admit.

He is now anxious about going on similar journeys in case the same thing happens and is left trapped in a different town.

Jones said: "For a human being to scoff and laugh at a disabled person and say, 'we don't have to take you anywhere', especially when they are collapsed on the floor. I can't be the only one."

Councillor Caroline Thomas, cabinet member for transport at Wiltshire Council, said: "We are sorry to hear about this incident.

"Our taxi policy is clear that guide dogs and assistance dogs must be carried, and it is illegal to refuse to do so.

"We take this matter very seriously and are investigating this specific complaint."

[ A spokesperson for Great Western Railway said they were "disappointed" to hear of Mr Jones' experience. ]

Related Articles

Help support us continuing our groundbreaking work. Make a donation to help with our running costs, and support us with continuing to bring you all the latest news, reviews and accessibility reports. Become a supporter or sponsor of Able2UK today!

Able2UK Logo