A taxi driver has been suspended after refusing to allow a blind 84-year-old lady and her guide dog in his cab.
Mrs Doreen Lynn was forced to wait almost an hour until another taxi agreed to allow labrador Misty on board.
“It was horrible. She was so distraught that she was physically ill afterwards,” said Doreen’s daughter Irene Morris.
Irene had paid for her mum to have her hair permed at Inspirations hairdressers as a Mother’s Day treat.
A family member ferried her and Misty to the appointment on Saturday lunchtime, and a Speedline cab was booked to take her home afterwards.
Irene said: “When the cab arrived, the driver took one look at Misty and said ‘I can’t take you. I won’t allow dogs in my car.’ He was told it was a guide dog but still refused to budge.”
Staff at the Newport Pagnell salon were furious at the driver’s action, she said.
“They took mum inside and made her a cup of tea and booked another Speedline cab. But it didn’t turn up for almost an hour – by which time mum was in a real state.”
When Mrs Lynn finally got home she was violently sick due to the stress, said Irene.
A spokesman for Speedline said the driver claimed he was allergic to dogs. “He has been suspended until he provides proof of this allergy from his doctor,” said a spokesman,
Speedline are based in Old Stratford and are regulated by South Northants Council as well as MK Council.
An MK council spokesman said: “We will investigate all complaints of this nature. It’s a criminal offence to refuse a person with a guide dog and MK drivers are told at their induction they can’t do this.”
Mrs Lynn has been registered blind for 20 years and is totally dependant upon Misty. She’s had the “impeccably behaved” dog for seven years.
RNIB: “Blind people people already face many barriers. Things like this can shake confidence.”