The Licensing Authority encourages the licensing of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) as hackney carriages and private hire vehicles and there are reduced fees for these types of vehicle.
Sections 165 to 167 of the Equality Act 2010 provide local authorities with the power to provide a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles (i.e. "designated vehicles"), and require the drivers of those vehicles 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 make sure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort; and
- To give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required.
The Act defines mobility assistance as assistance:
- To help the passenger to get into or out of the vehicle;
- If the passenger wishes to remain in the wheelchair, to help 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.
These requirements do not apply to drivers who have a valid exemption certificate and are displaying valid exemption notices. These must be displayed as follows:
- One in the near side window for approaching passengers and wheelchair users to see
- One in the rear window of the vehicle so any driver behind the vehicle on the rank will be aware of the exemption
Exemption certificates will only be issued on medical grounds or because the driver's physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for the driver to comply with these duties.
Transportation Outside of Wheelchair
Our policy states that wheelchair users who do not wish to travel in their wheelchair should be assisted wherever possible to do so. In which case the wheelchair must be stored securely as luggage. Drivers should offer all reasonable assistance to the wheelchair user to make sure that they are carried safely and in comfort. This is applicable to drivers of all licensed vehicles, not only those designated as WAVs.
List of Designated Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
The list of licensed hackney carriage and private hire vehicles designated for the purposes of Section 165 Equality Act 2010 can be found here: