Taxis: Assistance Dogs

Department for Transport written question – answered on 26th April 2017.

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Photo of Derek Thomas Derek Thomas Conservative, St Ives

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to prevent taxi drivers from discriminating against disability assistance dogs.

Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Under the Equality Act 2010 it is illegal for the driver of a taxi or private hire vehicle (PHV) to refuse to carry an assistance dog unless they hold a medical exemption certificate issued by the local licensing authority. It is unacceptable that drivers continue to refuse assistance dogs and I strongly encourage licensing authorities to take robust action against those who are unwilling to comply. Courts already have powers to impose fines up to £1,000.

Guidance has previously been issued to licensing authorities to support their implementation of these legal protections, and we are currently reviewing Best Practice Guidance which will include strengthened recommendations relating to authorities’ response to alleged instances of assistance dog refusal.

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