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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:10 pm 
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Taxi driver cleared after wheelchair charge court case

A TAXI driver has been cleared of charging a disabled passenger extra to carry a wheelchair. Under Section 165 of the Equality Act, which came into force at the beginning of last year, taxi drivers are not allowed to charge wheelchair users more for a journey than non-disabled passengers.

Yesterday Bolton Council sought to prosecute driver Shafique Rehman, claiming he had charged Barbara Holden and her husband, who is in a wheelchair, £12 for a 3.7 mile journey from Breightmet Health Centre to their home in Astley Bridge on June 1 last year.

Robin Kitching, prosecuting on behalf of the council, said, according to Cobra Taxi's rates, the cost of such a journey, carrying up to four people, should have been £5.81. Mrs Holden told the court she had asked the receptionist at the health centre to call her a taxi and Rehman turned up in his Fiat Scudo minibus. They got into the vehicle, but at the end of the journey a £12 fare was requested.

"I asked him how much it was because previously I had a taxi [for a similar journey] and it was £8 so I queried the fare," she said. Mrs Holden said she called Cobra Taxis and then complained to Bolton Council.

Rehman, aged 44, of Central Avenue, Farnworth, stressed that he had not known one of his passengers was a wheelchair user until he arrived at the health centre to collect them. He said that he had been at Asda in Farnworth when he was contacted by Cobra's operator asking him to collect the fare.

"I told the radio operator it was too far and to get someone else," he said. But the operator replied that no one was available for the job and a fare of £12 had been quoted. "I went because it is a good fare," he said.

Taxi firms can quote passengers different rates for jobs, such as trips to the airport, so long as any charge is not higher because one of the passengers is a wheelchair user.

And magistrates found Rehman, who has been a taxi driver for 11 years, not guilty of breaching the Equality Act after accepting he had not charged Mrs Holden extra for carrying a wheelchair.

Speaking after the hearing Mr Rehman said he had "surprised" and upset to be prosecuted. "I am working class and it was a waste of my time," he said. "I know I have to follow the law and in the past I have never had any complaint."

He called on Bolton Council to make the legislation about carrying disabled people clearer to taxi companies. Last month Pervez Sajid became the first taxi driver in Bolton to be convicted under the new law.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:13 pm 
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Looks like the firm dropped this driver in the s***.

But his defence is he would have charged that price to anyone due to him running a long way to the job.

I hope he has moved firms.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:56 pm 
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Robin Kitching, prosecuting on behalf of the council, said, according to Cobra Taxi's rates, the cost of such a journey, carrying up to four people, should have been £5.81 [for 3.7 miles]


:roll:

Wonder how the council came up with that one?

But without further information on the rates used, the local rules and practices, and how the council came up with a figure that looks astonishingly low, it's not that easy to assess what went on here.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 5:57 am 
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the driver was "allegedly" told the quote was £12 by the operator I wonder if the company surge priced the job to get him to do it as no one would take on a wheelchair job.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 7:15 am 
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edders23 wrote:
the driver was "allegedly" told the quote was £12 by the operator I wonder if the company surge priced the job to get him to do it as no one would take on a wheelchair job.

More than likely that added to the fact he ran miles for the job.

Some operators need to work out that cars don’t run on fresh air.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 2:10 pm 
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Sussex wrote:

Some operators need to work out that cars don’t run on fresh air.

Some customers also need to work it out.
We now have a Private Hire car and I have taken a booking that is a distance of about 4 miles from pick up to drop off. Because we have so far to go to get to the pick up point the fare is £35.00 which the customer has already paid.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 4:53 pm 
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grandad wrote:
Sussex wrote:

Some operators need to work out that cars don’t run on fresh air.

Some customers also need to work it out.
We now have a Private Hire car and I have taken a booking that is a distance of about 4 miles from pick up to drop off. Because we have so far to go to get to the pick up point the fare is £35.00 which the customer has already paid.



Fair comment but rules are different for TAXIS to private hire cars.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 7:00 pm 
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heathcote wrote:
grandad wrote:
Sussex wrote:

Some operators need to work out that cars don’t run on fresh air.

Some customers also need to work it out.
We now have a Private Hire car and I have taken a booking that is a distance of about 4 miles from pick up to drop off. Because we have so far to go to get to the pick up point the fare is £35.00 which the customer has already paid.



Fair comment but rules are different for TAXIS to private hire cars.


that depends WHERE you are licensed we can add up to £12 hiring charge to cover dead mileage in circumstances like that although 90 percent of such bookings are from over the border since we are within half a mile of the borders with 3 other counties from the rank :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 7:08 pm 
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heathcote wrote:
grandad wrote:
Sussex wrote:

Some operators need to work out that cars don’t run on fresh air.

Some customers also need to work it out.
We now have a Private Hire car and I have taken a booking that is a distance of about 4 miles from pick up to drop off. Because we have so far to go to get to the pick up point the fare is £35.00 which the customer has already paid.



Fair comment but rules are different for TAXIS to private hire cars.

Of course but as the report states "according to Cobra taxis rates" I assumed that it must be private hire because hackneys shouldn't have set rates they should use a meter.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 11:56 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
edders23 wrote:
the driver was "allegedly" told the quote was £12 by the operator I wonder if the company surge priced the job to get him to do it as no one would take on a wheelchair job.

More than likely that added to the fact he ran miles for the job.

Some operators need to work out that cars don’t run on fresh air.


Looks like he was hiked about three and a half miles to the job. The actual run was 3.7 miles, so he drove around seven miles in total.

And the council thought he should do it for £5.81 =D> :lol: :-s ](*,)


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