Boro Taxis said it was not economically viable

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Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

A TAXI firm will no longer take fares from wheelchair-bound passengers after being banned from charging extra, it emerged last night.

Boro Taxis, based in Middlesbrough, told the BBC it “could not afford” to send minibuses to pick up disabled passengers while charging them the same as able-bodied persons.

Taxi firms across the town were warned earlier this week by Middlesbrough Council they would be breaking discrimination laws – and could lose their licence – if they overcharged disabled passengers.

The letter came as it emerged some taxi firms were charging disabled passengers double that of able-bodied passengers.

Mohammed Bashir of Boro Taxis could not be contacted for comment today (Sunday) but earlier told BBC Tees: “The simple fact is if you order a car and four people jump in you are charged for a taxi.

“If you order an eight-seater minibus and eight people jump in you are charged for a minibus.

"If you order a minibus and there’s only one person you will still be charged for a minibus because that’s what you ordered. But because we are charging for a minibus we are breaking the law.”

He admitted the move was “morally totally wrong” but said it was not economically viable to keep picking up disabled customers in minibuses.

Middlesbrough Council is looking into whether discrimination laws are being breached.

Last week it wrote to all operators warning them that to charge disabled customers more than able-bodied customers would breach the Equality Act.

The council has authority to set fares for Hackney carriages but not private hire vehicles, which are decided by market forces.

Licensing officers will be “checking compliance” over the next few months to see if customers are facing discrimination.

 

Comments (20)

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5:56pm Sun 12 Jan 14

darloboss says...

simple solution
everyone use a different taxi company and let boro taxis go bust
simple solution everyone use a different taxi company and let boro taxis go bust darloboss
  • Score: 27

6:03pm Sun 12 Jan 14

pensioner2 says...

They don't need to send a mini bus, i'm sure a disabled person didn't/wouldn't order one so they should not be sending one, instead they need to purchase or adapt a couple of their normal taxi's as they did in Darlington- otherwise take their operators license off them and give them a big fine. Other towns and cities manage so why can't boro taxis? The real issue is they don't want to spend money on modifying or buying a couple of special adapted cars- i hope they get boycotted and go out of business, you cannot pick and choose who you will carry and who you will not, imagine the outcry if a taxi firm refused to carry anyone with certain religious beliefs or wearing certain dubious clothing.
They don't need to send a mini bus, i'm sure a disabled person didn't/wouldn't order one so they should not be sending one, instead they need to purchase or adapt a couple of their normal taxi's as they did in Darlington- otherwise take their operators license off them and give them a big fine. Other towns and cities manage so why can't boro taxis? The real issue is they don't want to spend money on modifying or buying a couple of special adapted cars- i hope they get boycotted and go out of business, you cannot pick and choose who you will carry and who you will not, imagine the outcry if a taxi firm refused to carry anyone with certain religious beliefs or wearing certain dubious clothing. pensioner2
  • Score: 20

6:25pm Sun 12 Jan 14

CLEVELANDPC says...

Loads of taxi companies have adapted cars as standard and charge no extra just shows how old the cars are anyway ! Plus by all accounts it's ran by unsavoury characters anyway ? Didn't the same firm get the presses attention for giving passengers a good kicking christmas before last ? agreed with first comment just use another taxi company
Loads of taxi companies have adapted cars as standard and charge no extra just shows how old the cars are anyway ! Plus by all accounts it's ran by unsavoury characters anyway ? Didn't the same firm get the presses attention for giving passengers a good kicking christmas before last ? agreed with first comment just use another taxi company CLEVELANDPC
  • Score: 25

7:09pm Sun 12 Jan 14

English lad says...

Darlington taxi firms have disabled access cars and they ALL charge extra for this service!
Darlington taxi firms have disabled access cars and they ALL charge extra for this service! English lad
  • Score: 9

8:42pm Sun 12 Jan 14

darloboss says...

darlington have a great community transport service for members only but free to join and accessible buses that charge way under taxis fares only thing is they cant afford to advertise so not a lot of people know about them
darlington have a great community transport service for members only but free to join and accessible buses that charge way under taxis fares only thing is they cant afford to advertise so not a lot of people know about them darloboss
  • Score: 10

8:43pm Sun 12 Jan 14

John Haley says...

That's outrageous. For many disabled people taxis are the only available form of transport available as other forms of public transport remains inaccessible. And why discriminate by charging double? I now live in Derbyshire and the taxis around here do not charge extra. Nor do they discriminate. They are so much more helpful towards disabled users.
That's outrageous. For many disabled people taxis are the only available form of transport available as other forms of public transport remains inaccessible. And why discriminate by charging double? I now live in Derbyshire and the taxis around here do not charge extra. Nor do they discriminate. They are so much more helpful towards disabled users. John Haley
  • Score: 12

9:14pm Sun 12 Jan 14

calumannabel says...

If the discrimination laws have gone out the window in Middlesbrough why doesn't everyone ask for a white taxi driver and let the taxi companies see what discrimination is all about?
If the discrimination laws have gone out the window in Middlesbrough why doesn't everyone ask for a white taxi driver and let the taxi companies see what discrimination is all about? calumannabel
  • Score: 21

9:17pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Awake-in-Darlo says...

darloboss wrote:
darlington have a great community transport service for members only but free to join and accessible buses that charge way under taxis fares only thing is they cant afford to advertise so not a lot of people know about them
darloboss -Where can this service be advertised free is the question D A D near the Dolphin Centre . the Library, and Drs surgeries etc. just for a start ?
Arent these Boro taxi drivers asking for being taken to court for discrimination against disabled passengers as this is surely against the law. Shame on them.
[quote][p][bold]darloboss[/bold] wrote: darlington have a great community transport service for members only but free to join and accessible buses that charge way under taxis fares only thing is they cant afford to advertise so not a lot of people know about them[/p][/quote]darloboss -Where can this service be advertised free is the question D A D near the Dolphin Centre . the Library, and Drs surgeries etc. just for a start ? Arent these Boro taxi drivers asking for being taken to court for discrimination against disabled passengers as this is surely against the law. Shame on them. Awake-in-Darlo
  • Score: 9

12:39am Mon 13 Jan 14

krappleby says...

ok.. i totally agree that charging double is scandalous, however shouting discrimination is wrong.. lets see.. Free Tax (if owned car) free car (if on invalidity) free parking, (these are things that disabled are given...) now that is discrimination against the able bodied..

Dont get me wrong.. i do believe that taxi drivers should charge a little extra (note i said little) for additional work. i agree that double is way to much, but a little extra yes.

if you also consider the costs involved in modifying the cars, (Training.. Yes.. we have to go through training courses, we have to pay for.. to be permitted to drive disabled people around) The costs are massive. unfortunately its going to come to a point where people will not pay for the courses, if they cannot recoup the money.. Thus, disabled passengers will no longer be able to travel anyway.

unfortunately some people do take advantage.
ok.. i totally agree that charging double is scandalous, however shouting discrimination is wrong.. lets see.. Free Tax (if owned car) free car (if on invalidity) free parking, (these are things that disabled are given...) now that is discrimination against the able bodied.. Dont get me wrong.. i do believe that taxi drivers should charge a little extra (note i said little) for additional work. i agree that double is way to much, but a little extra yes. if you also consider the costs involved in modifying the cars, (Training.. Yes.. we have to go through training courses, we have to pay for.. to be permitted to drive disabled people around) The costs are massive. unfortunately its going to come to a point where people will not pay for the courses, if they cannot recoup the money.. Thus, disabled passengers will no longer be able to travel anyway. unfortunately some people do take advantage. krappleby
  • Score: -9

7:32am Mon 13 Jan 14

snudge says...

Good for them they are running a business not a charity
Good for them they are running a business not a charity snudge
  • Score: -10

8:28am Mon 13 Jan 14

clancy240 says...

Clancy says
take the hackney plates off them
Clancy says take the hackney plates off them clancy240
  • Score: 10

8:58am Mon 13 Jan 14

Darkroom Devil says...

Maybe the govt should give an incentive to companies adapting vehicles.
Also don't those who are disabled receive extra benefits ie DLA mobility to cover extra costs. If costs are exactly the same everywhere why do people need extra benefits for travel?

I'm very pro equality but it has to work both ways otherwise there is still discrimination but its against the majority.
Maybe the govt should give an incentive to companies adapting vehicles. Also don't those who are disabled receive extra benefits ie DLA mobility to cover extra costs. If costs are exactly the same everywhere why do people need extra benefits for travel? I'm very pro equality but it has to work both ways otherwise there is still discrimination but its against the majority. Darkroom Devil
  • Score: 0

3:07pm Mon 13 Jan 14

punkrocker says...

discrimination plain and simple. council get a back bone and remove licence
discrimination plain and simple. council get a back bone and remove licence punkrocker
  • Score: 5

3:33pm Mon 13 Jan 14

English lad says...

They only get charged extra if they ask for a disabled access car with ramps or a lift, boro taxis are just doing what every other taxi firm with disabled accesss cars does, and that includes all the taxi firms in darlington!!!
They only get charged extra if they ask for a disabled access car with ramps or a lift, boro taxis are just doing what every other taxi firm with disabled accesss cars does, and that includes all the taxi firms in darlington!!! English lad
  • Score: 0

3:50pm Mon 13 Jan 14

CLEVELANDPC says...

English lad wrote:
They only get charged extra if they ask for a disabled access car with ramps or a lift, boro taxis are just doing what every other taxi firm with disabled accesss cars does, and that includes all the taxi firms in darlington!!!
English lad charging people extra because they are disabled is wrong this company is huge as far as I am aware every other company across cleveland offer adapted style cars at no extra cost boro cars are the largest firm si should have at least one or two adapted cars that could be used not only for the disabled but general use. Quite frankly this is outright discrimination if this is the case in darlington it needs looking into also.
[quote][p][bold]English lad[/bold] wrote: They only get charged extra if they ask for a disabled access car with ramps or a lift, boro taxis are just doing what every other taxi firm with disabled accesss cars does, and that includes all the taxi firms in darlington!!![/p][/quote]English lad charging people extra because they are disabled is wrong this company is huge as far as I am aware every other company across cleveland offer adapted style cars at no extra cost boro cars are the largest firm si should have at least one or two adapted cars that could be used not only for the disabled but general use. Quite frankly this is outright discrimination if this is the case in darlington it needs looking into also. CLEVELANDPC
  • Score: 2

5:50pm Mon 13 Jan 14

English lad says...

CLEVELANDPC wrote:
English lad wrote:
They only get charged extra if they ask for a disabled access car with ramps or a lift, boro taxis are just doing what every other taxi firm with disabled accesss cars does, and that includes all the taxi firms in darlington!!!
English lad charging people extra because they are disabled is wrong this company is huge as far as I am aware every other company across cleveland offer adapted style cars at no extra cost boro cars are the largest firm si should have at least one or two adapted cars that could be used not only for the disabled but general use. Quite frankly this is outright discrimination if this is the case in darlington it needs looking into also.
All that will happen is that ALL the taxi firms will take off their wheelchair access cars because the time it takes to pick up and drop off a disabled person in a wheelchair using a lift or ramps the other taxis will have done 3 or 4 jobs, and that is a fact! Most wheelchairs will go in the boot but when they need a specialised vehicle with a lift then the taxi firms will want to charge extra.
[quote][p][bold]CLEVELANDPC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]English lad[/bold] wrote: They only get charged extra if they ask for a disabled access car with ramps or a lift, boro taxis are just doing what every other taxi firm with disabled accesss cars does, and that includes all the taxi firms in darlington!!![/p][/quote]English lad charging people extra because they are disabled is wrong this company is huge as far as I am aware every other company across cleveland offer adapted style cars at no extra cost boro cars are the largest firm si should have at least one or two adapted cars that could be used not only for the disabled but general use. Quite frankly this is outright discrimination if this is the case in darlington it needs looking into also.[/p][/quote]All that will happen is that ALL the taxi firms will take off their wheelchair access cars because the time it takes to pick up and drop off a disabled person in a wheelchair using a lift or ramps the other taxis will have done 3 or 4 jobs, and that is a fact! Most wheelchairs will go in the boot but when they need a specialised vehicle with a lift then the taxi firms will want to charge extra. English lad
  • Score: 1

6:02pm Mon 13 Jan 14

always your mum says...

if ypu order a mini bus and they happen to be a hackney carriage they should engage their metres when the journey commences ,that is the law, and if they are charging double and charging more than the metre price they are breaking the law no matter what town they ply their trade so if you are disabled or booking a mini bus check out what the metre price is ,if the metre price is less than the quoted price and they make you pay the quoted price they should be reported to taxi licensing as they are breaking the law so be sure and get the drivers name and badge number ,if they refuse to give yo these details they are also breaking the law.
if ypu order a mini bus and they happen to be a hackney carriage they should engage their metres when the journey commences ,that is the law, and if they are charging double and charging more than the metre price they are breaking the law no matter what town they ply their trade so if you are disabled or booking a mini bus check out what the metre price is ,if the metre price is less than the quoted price and they make you pay the quoted price they should be reported to taxi licensing as they are breaking the law so be sure and get the drivers name and badge number ,if they refuse to give yo these details they are also breaking the law. always your mum
  • Score: 1

9:15pm Mon 13 Jan 14

CLEVELANDPC says...

English lad wrote:
CLEVELANDPC wrote:
English lad wrote:
They only get charged extra if they ask for a disabled access car with ramps or a lift, boro taxis are just doing what every other taxi firm with disabled accesss cars does, and that includes all the taxi firms in darlington!!!
English lad charging people extra because they are disabled is wrong this company is huge as far as I am aware every other company across cleveland offer adapted style cars at no extra cost boro cars are the largest firm si should have at least one or two adapted cars that could be used not only for the disabled but general use. Quite frankly this is outright discrimination if this is the case in darlington it needs looking into also.
All that will happen is that ALL the taxi firms will take off their wheelchair access cars because the time it takes to pick up and drop off a disabled person in a wheelchair using a lift or ramps the other taxis will have done 3 or 4 jobs, and that is a fact! Most wheelchairs will go in the boot but when they need a specialised vehicle with a lift then the taxi firms will want to charge extra.
It's not like they are going to be inundated disabled people demanding walk on wheelchair access all the time, come on ! Most people who can manage folding down Theirs or their charges wheelchair will continue to fold it down as the usual question is asked by the operator " can the wheelchair be folded down ?" should suffice granted it might take longer but so does the school run and they are the bread & butter " to many a taxi drivers I would imagine it could be lucrative to establish a good relationship with the disabled for the same reason, regular money which is getting harder to come by these days. If this is working for the smaller firms why can't it for the larger firms ?
[quote][p][bold]English lad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CLEVELANDPC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]English lad[/bold] wrote: They only get charged extra if they ask for a disabled access car with ramps or a lift, boro taxis are just doing what every other taxi firm with disabled accesss cars does, and that includes all the taxi firms in darlington!!![/p][/quote]English lad charging people extra because they are disabled is wrong this company is huge as far as I am aware every other company across cleveland offer adapted style cars at no extra cost boro cars are the largest firm si should have at least one or two adapted cars that could be used not only for the disabled but general use. Quite frankly this is outright discrimination if this is the case in darlington it needs looking into also.[/p][/quote]All that will happen is that ALL the taxi firms will take off their wheelchair access cars because the time it takes to pick up and drop off a disabled person in a wheelchair using a lift or ramps the other taxis will have done 3 or 4 jobs, and that is a fact! Most wheelchairs will go in the boot but when they need a specialised vehicle with a lift then the taxi firms will want to charge extra.[/p][/quote]It's not like they are going to be inundated disabled people demanding walk on wheelchair access all the time, come on ! Most people who can manage folding down Theirs or their charges wheelchair will continue to fold it down as the usual question is asked by the operator " can the wheelchair be folded down ?" should suffice granted it might take longer but so does the school run and they are the bread & butter " to many a taxi drivers I would imagine it could be lucrative to establish a good relationship with the disabled for the same reason, regular money which is getting harder to come by these days. If this is working for the smaller firms why can't it for the larger firms ? CLEVELANDPC
  • Score: 1

2:31pm Thu 16 Jan 14

cushybutterfield says...

Charging double? If this is so it is again sheer un-customer friendly............
.........****GREED. Certain Airport Taxis in certain North East Airports are similar, 'captive-customers' again jut pure un-customer friendly ***GREED. 'Pedal-battery assisted licensed ****BICYCLE ****RICKSHAWS (which they have in London and a few British Towns and Cities), could and would provide a better service.
Charging double? If this is so it is again sheer un-customer friendly............ .........****GREED. Certain Airport Taxis in certain North East Airports are similar, 'captive-customers' again jut pure un-customer friendly ***GREED. 'Pedal-battery assisted licensed ****BICYCLE ****RICKSHAWS (which they have in London and a few British Towns and Cities), could and would provide a better service. cushybutterfield
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Fri 17 Jan 14

maur1 says...

Don't agree in charging double charge extra for extra fuel that larger vehicle uses and only use larger vehicle if customer requests it. disabled do get allowances to cover costs to get out .but a lot don't use it for reason its given
Don't agree in charging double charge extra for extra fuel that larger vehicle uses and only use larger vehicle if customer requests it. disabled do get allowances to cover costs to get out .but a lot don't use it for reason its given maur1
  • Score: 0

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