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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 2:03 pm 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 6:33 am
Posts: 14310
...or 'wheelchair users', but I ran out of space, and it kind of makes sense anyway [-(

But more bad publicity for Veezu in Wales after a broadly similar piece a few weeks again.

And the usual stuff about Driver Partners/self-employed, blah, blah.

Newport woman claims discrimination of Veezu taxi drivers ... i-drivers/

A WOMAN who has become a wheelchair user after suffering meningitis has claimed that a taxi company are "discriminating" against disabled people.

Sophie Shuttleworth, 32, a graphic designer, beautician and illustrator from Newport, became wheelchair-bound after being paralysed by spinal cord damage from meningitis in 2022, which left her in a coma for weeks.

Now that she is reliant on her wheelchair to get around, Miss Shuttleworth has had a number of issues with Veezu Taxis who currently operate Newport's taxi services, calling their policy "disgraceful" and saying it is "denying" wheelchair users their freedom.

She claims there have been "numerous occasions" in recent years where she has been refused a taxi or let down at the last minute because the company are unable to provide a wheelchair accessible vehicle for her, as the company have said she is unable to pre-book.

A similar situation occurred in July 2023, when she tried to book a taxi to and from the hospital, and again in April this year where she missed a special occasion as there was "no guarantee" she would be able to get home.The first incident happened on December 4, 2022, when she attempted to book a round trip to the hospital, only to be let down on the day because no drivers were available.

After contacting Veezu directly on December 14, she was told that the company only have a "limited number" of wheelchair accessible vehicles and as all drivers are self-employed, ensuring the availability of such a vehicle is not always possible, so she cannot rely on one being available for her to hail.

She was told the company "don't have the resources" available to provide transport over the holidays.

She feels people like her are "being discriminated against for being disabled" as when the hospital calls for a taxi, an accessible one is guaranteed to turn up, but when she tries to personally book, it is refused, with the reason about "limited availability" given.

She said: "It is an absolute joke and we are being discriminated against for being disabled.

"The excuse of the legislation having to be changed in Welsh government before anything changes means we have to change the legislation as not even the council have control over it as they are 'self employed' so they are able to pick and choose what jobs they do.

"It's not fair as I'm now unable to go out via taxi on my own as I live in fear that I won't be able to get home."

She has previously written to both Veezu and Newport Council who told her the company policy is correct and will not change until Welsh Government legislation around companies requiring taxi companies to have a certain number of wheelchair-accessible vehicles is passed.

In response to the Argus, a Newport Council spokesperson confirmed a complaint had been received about accessible taxi services, and added that they had supported a recent government proposal to change the legislation around accessibility in private hire vehicles.

They continued: "All hackney carriages, which can be hailed from a rank or on the street, operating in Newport have been required to be wheelchair accessible since 2007 but, in common with other councils, we cannot apply this requirement to private hire vehicles."

Veezu admitted there was a shortage of drivers with wheelchair-accessible vehicles but said that their policy still stands at the moment.

The spokesperson said: “We currently do not take advance bookings for wheelchair accessible vehicles because it is impossible to guarantee that those vehicle types are available at the requested time.

"As a licensed private-hire operator, we cannot predict when Driver Partners are available because they are self-employed individuals, and as such are free to choose when, and if they take journeys.

“To avoid greater disappointment and inconvenience for passengers, we therefore ask that bookings for wheelchair accessible vehicles are made 30 minutes before the journey is needed."

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:47 pm
Posts: 19449
Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
almost deja vu

a pattern is emerging

lack of modern legislation is the iceberg sinking the titanic of the transport sector

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 54456
Location: 1066 Country
Quite sure Veezu and their partners aren't the only suppliers of taxi/PH services locally.

So why isn't she having a pop at them as well? :-k


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