Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.

31 JUL 2017

Guide Dogs

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about assistance dog owners and taxis.

I am afraid I will be unable to visit the Guide Dog stall at conference as I am not attending, however I hope the following information on this topic from the Department for Transport is of interest:

Taxis and private hire vehicles (PHV) are essential for many disabled people, and drivers are required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled passengers. The Equality Act 2010 places duties on taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers to carry assistance dogs at no additional charge. Taxi and private hire vehicle drivers are obliged to transport wheelchair users in their wheelchair, provide passengers in wheelchairs with appropriate assistance, and charge wheelchair users the same as non-wheelchair users.
Failure to comply with this requirement can result in prosecution and a fine on conviction of up to £1,000. A driver was recently fined £1,546, including legal costs, for refusing access to a guide dog.
Although there is no legal requirement for taxi and private hire vehicle drivers to undertake disability awareness training, the Department for Transport's Best Practice Guidance on taxi and private hire vehicle licensing recommends that local licensing authorities to work with the industry in their area to improve drivers' awareness of the needs of disabled people. This includes encouraging their drivers to undertake disability awareness training.

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