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Designated Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Sections 160 to 173 of the Equality Act 2010 are directly aimed at hackney carriage and private hire drivers and vehicles.

Designated Vehicle List

Section 167 allows licensing authorities to maintain a list of “designated vehicles”, which is, a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV) Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles licensed in their area. The minimum requirement for the vehicle to be on this list is that it is able to carry the wheelchair user whilst seated in their wheelchair.

The designated list (in line with S167 of the Equality Act 2010) can be viewed via the Public Register webpage.

Duties to assist passengers in wheelchairs

From April 2017, drivers of hackney carriage and private hire vehicles designated by the local licensing authority as being wheelchair accessible must comply with the requirements of Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010, unless they have been issued with an exemption certificate. For further information please click Gov.uk.

This is intended to help licensing authorities:

  • Maintain lists of vehicles designated as wheelchair accessible
  • Handle applications from drivers who are medically unfit to perform the duties required of them
  • Enforce the requirements

Section 165 places duties on drivers of designated wheelchair accessible taxis and Private hire vehicles.  These duties are:

  • to carry the passenger while in the wheelchair
  • not to make any additional charge for doing so
  • if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat to carry the wheelchair
  • to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort
  • to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required.

Mobility Assistance is defined as assistance:

  • to enable the passenger to get into or out of the vehicle
  • if the passenger wishes to remain in the wheelchair, to enable the passenger to get into and out of the vehicle while in the wheelchair
  • to load the passengers luggage into or out of the vehicle
  • if the passenger does not wish to remain in the wheelchair, to load the wheelchair into or out of the vehicle

A driver of a designated hackney carriage or designated private hire vehicle commits an offence by failing to comply with a duty imposed on the driver by this section.

Section 166 allows a Local Authority to exempt a driver from the duties to assist passengers in wheelchairs if they are satisfied that it is appropriate to do so on medical grounds or because the driver's physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for him or her to comply with the duties. 

Drivers who, for medical reasons are unable to accept wheelchair passengers or accessibility animals are able to apply to the Council for an exemption certificate.

Drivers are asked to submit a letter requesting an exemption together with a medical letter from their own GP. Such a certificate will only be issued on production of medical evidence as proof that they cannot comply with the Equality Act 2010.

Exemption certificates, which show the photograph of the driver, must be displayed in the vehicle at all times the driver is working.

Any concerns please contact Licensing, via the Contact Centre on 01509 634562 or email licensing@charnwood.gov.uk.

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