Uber driver ‘abandoned disabled man on side of the road because of his wheelchair’
A wheelchair user says he was left on the side of the road by an Uber driver who refused to take him.
Joshua Gardner, from Leeds, had ordered an Uber to take him to the pub to meet his friends on Monday. He regularly uses the ride-sharing app, and sometimes travels with it three times a day.
However the driver refused to take him, apparently saying ‘Disabled people need disabled cars’ before driving off.
‘Ordering a taxi when you have a lightweight foldable wheelchair is plain and simple,’ Mr Gardner, a 20-year-old freelance journalist, said. ‘It will always fit in a car somewhere – either in the boot or on the seat of a car.
‘Also ordering a taxi in the UK when you’re human is plan and simple. It’s against UK law to refuse a customer because of their disability, race, sex, age or sexuality.
‘Uber broke this law when one of their drivers drove off and left me at the side of the road on Monday night in Leeds. This should never happen.’
Gardner was able to film the driver abandoning him and later post it on social media. It has since been viewed thousands of times, and has received hundreds of comments in support.
He continued: ‘This Uber driver is one of many taxis drivers who have refused me over the years and not only me but many of my friends who have disabilities.
‘Its not just a problem with Uber, it’s a problem UK-wide.
‘Don’t get me wrong, 95% of taxi drivers in the UK would be more than happy to help when it comes to offering assistance to passengers with disabilities, a parent with a pushchair or a customer with a trolley full of shopping.
‘But it’s that 5% of drivers who wouldn’t help or would just refuse to take the job altogether.
‘In my opinion there needs to be tougher regulations for taxi companies when it comes to giving someone the green light to be a driver, and more required training for all drivers on equality. For me that is the only way things will change.’
When told about Gardner’s experience, an Uber spokesperson said: ‘Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination from riders or licensed drivers who use the app. We take any allegations of discriminatory behaviour very seriously.
‘We’re currently investigating this incident and it is our policy to prevent the partner-driver from using our app until the investigation is concluded.’
They also said that UberAssist, specifically aimed at those with access needs, is operational in Leeds.
Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/01/11/uber-driv ... z4VUCta3S5