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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:52 pm 
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Lack of disabled taxis in Angus will prompt motion to seek government funding to reverse ‘appalling’ situation

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/lo ... situation/

Ministers will be asked to unlock funds to reverse the “appalling” lack of accessible taxis in Angus.

The number of wheelchair accessible vehicles in the region has dropped to just seven.

An Angus councillor wants local authority officials to ask the UK and Scottish governments for funds to help taxi drivers buy adapted cars.

People with accessibility needs in Angus are facing a “postcode lottery” as there are no accessible vehicles in Monifieth and Sidlaw and only one serving Montrose and Brechin and a single car for all of Arbroath and Carnoustie.

There are five in Forfar and Kirriemuir.

Arbroath East and Lunan Independent councillor Lois Speed will ask the local authority’s chief executive to write to the Scottish and UK governments to help change disabled people’s lives for the better.

She will bring a motion to full council to request Margo Williamson highlight to ministers the inequalities faced by many Angus residents and seek additional funding “to ensure that taxi operators are financially supported or incentivised to purchase accessible vehicles that will enable a fully inclusive service for all”.

Ms Speed spoke to councillors at Thursday’s meeting of the civic licensing committee in Forfar.

She said she understands the financial challenges that taxi operators face but said things must change.

“Lack of accessible vehicles is an unmet need in Angus and I believe it would be totally unacceptable not to robustly address this,” she said.

“It’s extremely concerning that Angus has gone from 13 to seven accessible vehicles covering the whole of Angus in the last year.

“We must recognise that these number will be even lower at times as not all vehicles will be on the road or available at the same time

“It’s alarming that there is only one accessible vehicle covering several localities and this at times may be reduced to zero and for fairly lengthy periods when this vehicle is engaged.”

She said barriers to travel and transport often results in loneliness and social isolation for disabled people which in turn “impacts on health and wellbeing outcomes and same life chances and opportunities as others”.

The civic licensing committee has now agreed to investigate the extent of the unmet need for wheelchair vehicles and to recommend measures to address it and the likely costs involved.

Ms Speed added: “I continue to receive regular correspondence from individuals and groups, including care homes, who report the detrimental impact and issues that they are experiencing by not being able to take part in everyday activities, essential health and social care appointments, education, employment and sport or leisure opportunities, as well as unplanned events including seeking medical attention.”

There was widespread support for Ms Speed’s plan to take the matter to full council.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:54 pm 
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“It’s extremely concerning that Angus has gone from 13 to seven accessible vehicles covering the whole of Angus in the last year."

Quite a drop over one year.

And makes a change to see them talk about funding rather than ordering new plates (say) to run WAVs, but possibly just wishful thinking as far as extra cash is concerned :?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:45 pm 
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Make the operators (firms not proprietors) have 10-20% of their fleet wheelchair accessible.

Works well down here.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:06 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Make the operators (firms not proprietors) have 10-20% of their fleet wheelchair accessible.

Works well down here.


Well it would have to be more than 10%, because I suspect the vast majority of firms in Angus have less than 10 cars, so 10% each would be less than one WAV :badgrin:

In fact if someone said that there are *zero* firms in Angus with more than 10 cars then I wouldn't be surprised, but I'd guess 10-20 cars would be as big as they get.

But all these very small firms perhaps demonstrate why mandating a quota per firm wouldn't be as easy as it would be with big city firms of hundreds of cars :-k


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:18 pm 
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don't suppose it has occurred to them that the reason for the drop might be the difficulty of finding work for them

My experience was that the majority of punters disliked them and that wheelchair work tends to only be sporadic as most wheelchair users either have their own or use volunteer vehicles which are cheaper

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:50 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
don't suppose it has occurred to them that the reason for the drop might be the difficulty of finding work for them

My experience was that the majority of punters disliked them and that wheelchair work tends to only be sporadic as most wheelchair users either have their own or use volunteer vehicles which are cheaper

Clearly there isn't bundles of WAV work, but I think a council has a duty, albeit a moral not legal duty, to ensure there is sufficient WAVs available should someone need one.

I also think the trade has a similar duty, but that's easier said than implemented. Maybe councils that don't license the cheaper WAVs should, and maybe councils that restrict HCs and license saloons shouldn't, and maybe all councils that allow saloon HCs should offer WAV HCs reduced fees.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:58 pm 
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From my admittedly limited experience I'd say WAV work is more big city stuff rather than in the small towns of Angus.

When I worked in Dundee there were effectively zero WAVs, but still quite a few wheelchair users, particularly daytime in the city centre. Probably had a wheelchair in the boot every couple of weeks or so.

In the much smaller town I work in now I can barely recall the last time I had a chair in the boot - only one I can remember was quite a few years ago, and that was out at the station. I remember thinking then that that was the first one I'd had for years, and can't really recall seeing many other saloons getting jobs.

There are a smattering of WAVs around, but always pre-booked as far as I know, but it's also years since I've seen a WAV loading up anywhere, except once or twice at the station.

Funny thing, though, I was thinking about saying this last night, and lo and behold, a few hours later and a girl arrived at our night rank in a wheelchair, at 1.30am. Had obviously been on a night out with some friends, and one of the guys just lifted her into the cab, and the chair went into the boot, so not the most difficult wheelchair job.

But all that's not to say that there aren't any people in wheelchairs locally who use cabs, but seems to be almost wholly pre-booked rather than public hire.

Which in turn is possibly why there isn't the same impetus for WAV HCs in smaller towns/more rural areas that there is in the big cities. And, of course, there will always be people who want a WAV but can't get one, even in more rural areas, as this article demonstrates.

But none of the Angus towns will be much bigger than the one I work in, and most are a bit smaller, so I suspect demand for WAVs at the ranks is pretty much non-existent.


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