News & press releases

Press Release: Anna McMorrin MP and Guide Dogs show red card to taxi refusals

October 3, 2017

Anna McMorrin MP tested her taxi hailing skills this week at Labour Party Conference in a football-themed game with Guide Dogs. While trying to get a taxi to take guide dog owner Jacqueline to her local football match, the MP for Cardiff North heard about the real problems assistance dog owners face when being illegally refused by taxis and minicabs.

The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for a taxi or minicab driver to refuse to take an assistance dog or to charge extra for carrying it. However, Guide Dogs research found that 42% of assistance dog owners have been turned away by a taxi or minicab in a one-year period because of their dog. The research also uncovered that 38% of assistance dog owners have been asked to pay an extra fare for carrying their dog.

Anna McMorrin MP is supporting Guide Dogs’ call for all taxi and minicab drivers to undertake disability equality training so they understand the rights and needs of disabled passengers and feel confident to offer assistance. The campaign is supported by more than 30 organisations, including trade bodies, local government representatives and disability groups.

Anna McMorrin MP said:

“I’ve had a lot of Cardiff North residents get in touch with me about the Guide Dogs’ campaign, who are passionate about ensuring that everyone in our community to be able to live the life they choose.

That’s why I wanted to meet with the Guide Dogs’ team at the Labour Party Conference, to learn more about what can be done, and also provide my support for their campaign for all taxi and minicab drivers to undertake disability equality training.”

James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, commented:

“Imagine you were turned away by a taxi driver for no reason. This happens to people living with sight loss with shocking regularity just because they are travelling with their guide dog. It’s not only illegal, it knocks people’s confidence and stops them doing the everyday things that most people take for granted – going to a café, meeting friends, going to the doctor’s or to their local football match.

We are urging the Government to require disability equality training for all drivers to help reduce the number of access refusals.”

Notes for Editors

  1. The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association provides independence and freedom to thousands of blind and partially sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services. It campaigns for the rights of those with visual impairments. Guide Dogs is working towards a society in which blind and partially sighted people enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.
  2. For more information about Guide Dogs and its Access All Areas campaign, contact Jennifer Keen on 01189 838388 or Jennifer.keen@guidedogs.org.uk.

Warning: Unknown: write failed: Disk quota exceeded (122) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (/home/annamcmo/public_html/files/tmp) in Unknown on line 0