According to new research, around 80% of all local authorities in England have fewer than one wheelchair accessible taxi per thousand people, and either all or part of taxi fleets are not required to be wheelchair accessible in around 34% of local authorities.
Liverpool, with 2.9 accessible taxis per thousand people, was found to be the most accessible city while Wakefield, with 0.1 accessible taxi per thousand people was found to be the least.
London came third with 2.3 accessible taxis per thousand people.
In fact, only 12 cities were found to have more than one accessible taxi per thousand inhabitants and currently there are around 1.2 million – the equivalent of one in 56 people – who use a wheelchair in the UK.
A vehicle can be designated accessible if it is possible for a client to “enter, leave and travel in the passenger compartment in safety and reasonable comfort whilst seated in their wheelchair,” according to government guidelines, but this is not applicable to all types of wheelchair leaving some unable to access an accessible taxi.
However, the number of authorities requiring disability awareness training for taxi drivers, and the number of local authorities which require all or part of a taxi fleet to be wheelchair accessible has risen, according to the research.
Clearly, though progress is being made in terms of accessibility, information, training and understanding, continued progress is still of vital importance in a challenging transport environment.
With over 20 years experience producing and selling wheelchair accessible vehicles in the UK, you can be sure that we can offer excellent customer service with a level of knowledge that is completely unrivalled.