Fears voiced over taxi decision
by Hannah Shroot • Published 30 Apr 2012 16:20 0 Comments
OBJECTIONS to a council decision to allow the use of rear-loading vehicles as taxis have been voiced by a disability group.
The move, passed by Slough Borough Council on Monday last week, allows rear-loading vehicles to operate as taxis, whereas previously only side-loading vehicles were licensed.
Daphne White from Disability Together, in Apsley House, Stratfield Road, Slough, said: "I would never use one if I was disabled, I just don't think it's safe."
She added taxi drivers are not trained to work with wheelchair users and that
special providers such as Out And About, a door-to-door service for people in Slough with difficulty using public transport, are better adapted to helping people with disabilities.
Ms White said Disability Together, which works with organisations, community groups and individuals to promote the inclusion of disabled people of Slough and the surrounding area, was not made aware of the motion.
Charities such as RADAR and SCOPE have raised concerns that users would be seated in the 'crumple zone' at the back of the vehicle, risking serious injury.
In a letter to Slough Borough Council, Secretary of Slough Taxi Drivers Union, Mohammed Mustafa, said: "The safety of the customer is paramount for all taxi drivers in Slough."
He added the Union believes rear-loading taxis are safer than side-loading taxis, as well as being cheaper to buy and maintain.
Bracknell Forest, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and West Berkshire have already licensed rear-loading vehicles as taxis.
Slough Borough Council's Licensing Manager Mick Sims said the Council had discussed the move with a number of groups, including organisations supporting the elderly and the disabled, and the safety of passengers was taken into account.
This article appeared in Local Berkshire 30 Apr 12