A taxi driver has lost his licence after twice failing to secure a disabled passenger in his cab.
Coventry City Council revoked his licence after deciding the driver did not use restraining straps to secure the wheelchair and passenger in the correct position in the taxi.
The council says he failed to admit these failures to Coventry City Council enforcement officers when later interviewed.
According to CoventryLive, details of the two incidents were heard by the council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee which took the decision to withdraw the driver’s licence.
The committee felt that the driver had tried to pass the burden of responsibility onto the complainant, claiming that it was the passenger who had requested not to be strapped in.
Members were unanimous in the decision to revoke the licence and wanted to send a clear message to Coventry taxi drivers that transporting any passenger in a dangerous manner would not be tolerated.
Andrew Walster, Director, Streetscene and Regulatory Services at the council, believes the committee has sent a clear warning to all taxi drivers.
He said: “It would be clear discrimination should taxi operators decline to take wheelchair users based upon their disability. If reports of any refusals are received then the drivers leave themselves open to a licence review.”
All hackney cab drivers are trained in the way to place wheelchair passengers into a vehicle. But the driver accepted at the hearing that he had not followed the correct procedure.
He had loaded the passenger and wheelchair sideways into the vehicle and then stretched re-straining belts over the legs of the complainant.
In hackney cabs, a wheelchair must be turned to face the rear of the vehicle and secured using straps and the seatbelt within the vehicle.
During the hearing, the Licensing and Regulatory Committee also warned that private hire operators need to review procedures in relation to disabled passengers. They also want to see a robust complaints procedure in place, as a lack of one may lead to a review of licences.
It comes after a number of taxi drivers were investigated in February after some were found to not be securing wheelchair users properly in their taxis.
A complaint was made by a disabled taxi user about the lack of safety when he got in the Coventry cabs.
Following the complaint, Coventry City Council carried out a test to see how many taxi drivers were undertaking the procedure properly.
Although only a small number of drivers were assessed, most failed.