Milton Keynes taxi driver refusing to accept blind man’s guide sparks fresh council appeal

Council makes appeal to disabled customers
Council makes appeal to disabled customers

Milton Keynes Council’s taxi licensing team has renewed its appeal to hear from anyone who feels they may have had a rough deal from a driver because of a disability.

The appeal follows a recent court case where the council took a driver to court for alleged breaches of the Equality Act, after he was accused of refusing to collect a blind man with a guide dog.

MKC brought the case after a complaint from local resident Neil Barnfather, who is blind, that on 4 July 2017 he had booked a licensed vehicle with a Private Hire Operator and the driver failed to collect him from Saxon Clinic, Chadwick Drive, Eagleston because he had an Assistance Dog.

Giving evidence the driver stated that he attended the Clinic to collect Mr Barnfather however as Mr Barnfather was not at the collection point he advised his Operator that the job was a ‘no show’ before driving away.

The driver was found not guilty.

However, Cllr Catriona Morris, chair of the MK Regulatory Committee, said:

“I would like to personally thank Mr Barnfather for coming forward and making this complaint to us and attending court and giving evidence.

“Whilst we are disappointed that our case has not been successful we will continue to thoroughly investigate all complaints as Milton Keynes Council has a ‘Zero Tolerance’ approach to offences under the Equality Act 2010.

“Quite simply it is unlawful for a private hire driver to refuse to pick up a properly booked person with an Assistance Dog. I would also like to thank Saxon Clinic for their assistance.”