Council pledges to increase WAV taxi services

Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

East Renfrewshire Council has agreed to increase the number of wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs) within its local taxi services.

Years of campaigning from residents and groups has piled pressure onto the council to bring in more wheelchair-accessible taxi services after figures showed the region was among the lowest in the country for its ratio of WAVs.

Changes made by the council mean that licences will only be granted to taxi operators who provide WAVs. This will continue until a fifth of taxis in the area are wheelchair-accessible.

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The council has not yet stated which WAV firms will be approached to provide additional vehicles.

Some taxi and private hire firms are reportedly fearful of increased costs surrounding WAVs, with many sceptical of the need.

But ERC licensing committee chairman and Barrhead councillor, Tommy Reilly, told Barrhead News that he believes those worries have now subsided to a manageable level.

Cllr Reilly told the newspaper: “We had a meeting in November and quite a lot of ideas from that meeting were brought to the table on Tuesday.

“It took a lot of time to come to a consensus. One of the most contentious parts is insisting on 100% of taxi drivers conforming and having WAVs.

“That would look as a punishment to taxi drivers and that’s not the kind of business we’re in. We need to wait and see what kind of effect this has.”

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