Thank you for contacting me regarding the accessibility of taxis. On your request, I will write to Andrew Jones MP. I share your disappointment in that the Bill could not progress, and there is no indication that it will. I hope that my letter will provoke some movement in the matter.
I am aware that it is illegal to discriminate against a person because of a disability when providing a service, which applies to not only taxis and minicabs, but any service. The only exception for refusing someone with an assistance dog is on medical grounds, and for that a certified medical certificate permanently on display in the taxi is required.
You may know that 297 visually impaired respondents took part in a Guide Dogs survey, in which 68% reported that they had not informed the authorities when an individual had refused them service. This was largely because they did not believe anything would come of it, which is very saddening. Ignorance of the law is no justification, and so I completely support your views on how absolutely crucial the training is.
The emotional and mental impact of facing discrimination and confrontation on an everyday basis takes a significant toll on disabled people, leading to a loss of confidence and independence. This is why I have written to Andrew Jones MP as you have asked.
Thank you once again for contacting me, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me if you require any further information.
Derek Thomas MP
For St Ives, West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.