East Renfrewshire MP, Paul Masterton has written to Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity after several visually impaired constituents raised issues with him surrounding private hire vehicles.
The problems centre around visually impaired constituents being refused entry to taxis due to a guide dog being present. In one year alone, throughout the UK, 42% of assistance dog owners were refused a hire.
As a result of this, in England and Wales UK Ministers have stated that they intend to include best practice guidance for drivers to complete surrounding disability awareness, and this will form part of the national minimum standards.
The laws surrounding minimum standards in Scotland are devolved to the Scottish Government in Holyrood.
Paul Masterton, MP for East Renfrewshire commented:
“Having worked with the Guide Dogs charity on a number of their campaigns, I was shocked to hear from a number of local residents who have been denied access to taxis in and around East Renfrewshire and Glasgow. This is completely unacceptable and private hire companies must not be allowed to discriminate in this way.
I have written to the Scottish Government demanding he look at this matter urgently to ensure visually impaired individuals are treated with dignity and respect by private hire companies, and cannot refused a lift simply because they have a guide dog.”