16 Aug Zoom allows you to adapt to latest regulations for wheelchair access
Changes to the Equality Act brought in this April mean taxi drivers face a fine of up to £1000 if they refuse to transport wheelchair users or attempt to charge them extra.
The law applies to drivers who have registered with their council to be on the list of wheelchair accessible taxis, known as Section 167 lists.
But according to research by disability activist Doug Paulley, only 11 per cent of councils in England, Scotland and Wales have created such a list.
Consequently, there is increasing pressure on local councils to respond to the need for information to ensure wheelchair users are not disadvantaged by insufficient information.
“For people with mobility issues, having a reliable method of transport is supremely important,” said chief executive of zoom.taxi Matthew Kendall.
“Because we can provide a tailored service for companies it means that people who provide vehicles for wheelchair users can ensure the right car is dispatched and the passenger knows they will be able to get from A to B with the minimum of fuss.
“We have been developing the app we provide for private hire companies to allow wheelchair accessible vehicle as one of the types of vehicle someone can order which we think will be useful not only for companies who are registered as providing that service.
“In this day and age people anticipate companies to be adaptable and that includes providing services for less able people who expect to travel and live independently.
“We are also planning to implement ‘special requests’ in to the app/ dispatcher by the end of the year. This would allow people to select options including ‘child seat’ or ‘wheelchair accessibility’, so that their request goes to an appropriate vehicle.