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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:26 am 
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Disabled woman in wheelchair refused service by Gosport taxi drivers

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/peopl ... -1-9017874

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Image: Malcolm Wells/The News, Portsmouth

A WHEELCHAIR user has hit back after ‘unacceptable’ behaviour from taxi drivers left her on the verge of tears.

Debbie Cardoza has been disabled for 10 years, using a powered chair to get around, and has never had a problem with drivers.

However, a few weeks ago when the 52-year-old was shopping in Gosport she was refused service by several people.

She said: ‘We were completely snubbed and left on the side of the taxi rank.

‘Eventually one of the drivers at the front of the rank radioed another company.

‘Two weeks later I did some shopping and then had a doctor’s appointment and the same thing happened again.'

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Image: Malcolm Wells/The News, Portsmouth

A tearful Debbie felt intimidated as the group of drivers got ‘quite rowdy’ with her, she said.

‘Half an hour later I was really pretty upset,’ said Debbie, who was late to her appointment.

‘In the 10 years that I have been disabled I have never had to kick up a fuss. I just find it totally unacceptable.’

Things escalated when Debbie used a private firm and a driver took control of her chair as she left because he said he was ‘quicker’.

Debbie said: ‘He launched me backwards and for that split second I thought I was falling out the back. Nobody has ever taken control of my chair before.

‘He swung the footrests round and it hit my bad leg. It’s my worst leg and it really did hurt. I was on the point of crying.’

The driver threw the coins back that she had tried to pay with.

Debbie has received an apology for this from the firm but wants to make sure other people are not experiencing discrimination.

Ian Rickman, head of environmental health for Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘We take issues like this extremely seriously, and began an investigation into this complaint last week.

‘Drivers must not discriminate against people with disabilities, although they can decline to take a passenger if they have a valid reason – for example, if their taxi doesn't have the right adaptations to make the journey safe.’

Meanwhile, rules have been tightened at Portsmouth City Council to criminalise those refusing to take wheelchair users.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:29 am 
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Image: Malcolm Wells/The News, Portsmouth

Wonder when she got that heavy powered chair? No problems for 10 years, then two refusals in a fortnight? And a vehicle was called out - maybe one more suitable for that kind of heavy chair?

Don't know if it's significant, but the photo caption refers to 'flat ramp' cars:

Quote:
Wheelchair user Debbie Cardoza (52) alleges that Gosport taxi drivers with flat ramp cars based at the Gosport Ferry taxi rank have refused to take her in their vehicles on several occasions.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:52 am 
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Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
Quote:
using a powered chair to get around


:-k and how much does it weigh ?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:59 am 
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Quote:
Meanwhile, rules have been tightened at Portsmouth City Council to criminalise those refusing to take wheelchair users.

And there was me thinking the DDA came in in 1995. :-k

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:00 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
Quote:
using a powered chair to get around


:-k and how much does it weigh ?

A lot.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:28 am 
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Location: Plymouth
I have been considering whether or not to contribute to this thread.

Personally I believe that the Wheelchair user should always, if possible, be accommodated.

On the other hand, the DfT only test vehicles with "Standard Manual Wheelchairs". That is purpose built and conversions.

I had an individual conversion deliberately to manage big Electric Wheelchairs. When it went for Test a Standard Manual Wheelchair had to be provided, if I provided an Electric one they would not Test and therefore would not "Pass" the vehicle.

The bottom line is, if it is not a Standard Manual wheelchair, you don't have to take it.

So strictly speaking it is the DfT that cause the problem. Until they test with bigger wheelchairs the Driver refusing is bulletproof. If a case went to Court because an Electric Wheelchair was refused the Brief would simply say the Cab is not constructed or tested to be able to deal with the situation.

All that said, I would really prefer that a Driver gets off his or her Fat 'arris and at least try to do the job.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:37 am 
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when i did have a wav I repeatedly had major problems getting electric chairs in and out of the vehicle and often it was easier to flick the switch to manual and heave them in as the users rarely could move a foot in a straight line powered

I still believe that wheelchairs need specialist vehicles and that services such as call connect should be dedicated to that instead of providing cheap travel to work for able bodied people

tail lift vehicles make poor hackneys but ideal wheelchair transport

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:34 pm 
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I won’t allow an electric wheelchair user to ‘power’ their wheelchair in. I always perform a health and safety assessment first. If I think it’s safe to do so, I manually turn the power off (usually a big red/yellow button) and attempt to load the passenger. If I can’t do it safely I won’t do it.


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