New taxis to be wheelchair accessible
New taxis operating in the borough will need to be wheelchair accessible with effect from 1 October 2020.
The changes were unanimously agreed by councillors this week following a consultation process* with local residents, local and national disability groups and the taxi trade.
Under the revised licensing conditions, all new taxis in the borough will need to be able to carry up to four passengers in addition to a person using a wheelchair. The Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) will be clearly identified by a distinctive silver livery.
Existing taxis will need to be replaced after eight years and become WAVs. Over time the whole fleet will eventually be WAVs.
Councillor Fiona Thomson, Executive Member for Public Health, said:
This is very welcome news for our residents with limited mobility and also their friends and family they may travel with. By making taxis accessible to wheelchair users, they will be able to enjoy the freedom and flexibility to chose when they want to travel and where they want to travel around the borough.
* From January to March 2019, over 750 people were contacted as part of the consultation process, with a response of approximately 60%. The majority of the trade were against the new conditions and the majority of the public were for the conditions.