Wheelchair accessible hackney carriages (taxis) and private hire vehicles
Under Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Act), a licensed driver has a number of duties placed on them if they drive a designated wheelchair taxi or private hire vehicle. These are:
- to carry the passenger while in the wheelchair
- not to make any additional charge for doing so
- if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat to carry the wheelchair
- to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort; and
- to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required
The Act then goes on to define mobility assistance as:
- to enable the passenger to get into or out of the vehicle
- if the passenger wishes to remain in the wheelchair, to enable the passenger to get into and out of the vehicle while in the wheelchair
- to load the passenger's luggage into or out of the vehicle
- if the passenger does not wish to remain in the wheelchair, to load the wheelchair into or out of the vehicle
It is an offence for the driver (unless exempt) to fail to comply with these requirements when using a vehicle on the designated list.
In order to be included on the list, a vehicle must conform to the accessibility requirements of the council and must be capable of carrying some - but not necessarily all - types of occupied wheelchairs. We have adopted the definition of 'reference wheelchair' as defined in Schedule 1 of the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 2000. The reference wheelchair has:
- the total length of 1200mm, including extra-long footplates
- total width of 700mm
- sitting height (from ground to top of head) of 1350mm
- height of footrest above the floor of 150mm
The reference wheelchair is bigger than most wheelchairs to ensure that enough room is provided for most wheelchair users.
List of wheelchair accessible vehicles
In accordance with Section 167 of the Equality Act 2010 Harrogate Borough Council has produced and will maintain a list of licensed hackney carriage or private hire vehicles which are fully wheelchair accessible. This means that a passenger can travel in the vehicle whilst seated in their wheelchair. A list of licenced wheelchair accessible vehicles as designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Equality Act 2010 can be found below. We would recommend calling the operators to discuss the size and type of wheelchair that you have so that an appropriate vehicle can be provided, if available.
Please note: In rare circumstances, drivers can be issued with a certificate that exempts them from taking wheelchairs on medical grounds. If a driver claims to hold such an exemption please ask to see his certificate.
Current list of designated wheelchair accessible vehicles
Apply for a new dedicated wheelchair accessible hackney carriage vehicle licence