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Macclesfield MP, David Rutley, met with representatives from the charity Guide Dogs to hear about the real problems assistance dog owners face across the country when being illegally refused by taxis and minicabs.
David tested his taxi hailing skills in a football-themed event with Guide Dogs, which illustrated these difficulties, and spoke with representatives from the charity about this challenge.
The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for a taxi or minicab driver to refuse to take an assistance dog or to charge extra for carrying it. However, David was concerned to learn about Guide Dogs research that found that 42 per cent of assistance dog owners have been turned away by a taxi or minicab in a one-year period because of their dog. The research also uncovered that 38 per cent of assistance dog owners have been asked to pay an extra fare for carrying their dog.
David said, “It is unacceptable for people with sight loss to be refused access to taxis and minicabs, simply because they have their assistance dog with them. The Guide Dogs’ event was a good way to highlight an important issue, and I hope that this campaign helps to raise awareness of the needs of people with sight loss when using transport.”