September 30, 2018
Taxi drivers who refused to take a wheelchair user from Aberdeen International Airport could have their licenses revoked.
The woman was left feeling ‘humiliated’ after being refused a lift from taxi drivers, with wheelchair accessible cabs, at the airport. These drivers in particular, creating a bad image among the rest of the taxi trade.
Wheelchair User Left Shocked
Barbara Howard, from Nottingham, was shocked after six taxi drivers, whose vehicles had been specially adapted to accommodate her wheelchair, refused to give her a lift.
Ms Howard described her experience as ‘awful’ and said the airport service had been a dreadful advert for the city.
She said: “Six taxi drivers with wheelchair accessible taxis, registered by Aberdeen City Council, refused to take us from the Aberdeen Airport taxi rank into town because they didn’t want to fold their seats down.
“It was humiliating. If a disabled tourist was greeted in Aberdeen by the airport taxi service, they would never come back again.”
Dame Anne Begg, former Aberdeen MP, spoke of experiencing similar treatment and said many drivers appeared to be inconvenienced by helping a disabled passenger.
Drivers Responsible Identified
She said: “This shouldn’t happen, but it often does at taxi ranks. Not all taxis are converted, so it’s particularly annoying when the ones that are refuse to take a wheelchair passenger.”
Airport bosses confirmed that they’d identified the drivers responsible. Councillor Ross Grant said he had asked the authority’s licensing committee to investigate the incident.
The city’s transport spokesman added: “It’s incredibly disappointing to hear of Ms Howard’s ordeal and this is certainly not the kind of impression the city of Aberdeen would wish to give anyone visiting the city.
“There’s a responsibility on those wheelchair accessible cab drivers to warmly accommodate disabled passengers and I would urge those individuals, who’ve chosen not to bother, to take their responsibilities more seriously.
“I’ve brought this matter to the attention of the licensing department to ask that they consider if there are ways to raise awareness about the importance of accommodating disabled passengers.”