Taxi drivers not using clamps to secure wheelchairs, claims survey

Respondents to a recent survey have cited a lack of knowledge and will among some taxi drivers to use clamps to fasten wheelchairs into taxis as some of the main problems associated with transport for disabled people.

Some respondents to Disability Wales’ survey said that drivers often do not carry or know how to use ramps and clamps for their vehicles and rely on the wheelchair user to advise them.

Disability Wales claimed that “disabled people’s lives are potentially put at risk as drivers refuse to properly secure wheelchairs into their vehicles”.

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The group argued that there are serious safety issues for wheelchair users as they are at risk of their wheelchair tipping when the vehicle is in motion.

One respondent said: “I’ve had taxi drivers refuse to secure my chair in properly saying they take someone else in my type of wheelchair and they don’t need securing so they don’t see why they need to do mine even though I’ve explained if it’s not harnessed securely it will move and slide and may even tip over.”

Disability Wales said that disabled people are suffering because of a lack of adapted taxis and transport cuts.

But the Welsh Government insisted it is committed to accessible transport.

Miranda Evans, policy and programmes manager at Disability Wales, told BBC Wales’ Sunday Politics Wales programme: “The whole situation we’re in around cuts to local bus services and various other transport provision is that it is having a huge detrimental impact on people’s ability to achieve independent living.

“Disabled people aren’t able to be spontaneous and travel when they want, where they want and how they want, like everyone else.

“Transport needs to be looked at in the broadest possible way to ensure that disabled people can access a range of different transport modes, so whether that’s taxis, buses, trains, planes – the lot, just to make sure that they are able to have a journey to wherever they want to go, and be able to have those connections.”

The Welsh Government has reportedly consulted on proposals to reform taxi licensing.

A spokesman said: “We will continue to work with the taxi sector and disabled people to ensure that no matter the location or circumstance, passengers across Wales get the level of service they deserve and rightly expect”.

Tags : adaptable taxidisability walesramptaxiwavwheelchair clamp
Joe Peskett

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