GUIDE DOGS must be carried by Taxi Cabs under legislation that came into effect in April. The programme, Access For All, linked to the Disability Discrimination Act, launched in October 2000, aims to ensure guide dog owners are no longer refused carriage by private hire vehicles - sometimes known as minicabs.
Licensed taxis, sometimes known as Hackney Carriages, are required, from April 1st, to carry guide dogs on request under the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act . But private hire vehicles are excluded from this piece of legislation, leaving local authorities to use their licensing powers to introduce the requirement.
More and more councils are using their powers to do just this, and, to date, 174 councils have introduced the requirement for private hire vehicles. A further 65 are committed to its introduction and supportive messages have been received from a further 55. London and northern Ireland are not included in the scheme thus far, as they do not have the power to license.
A spokesperson for Guide Dogs for the Blind Association said: "If your council has not changed its licensing law then why not write to The Licensing Officer at your local Town Hall or contact us for advice."
If you wish to check the status of your local authority’s guide dog carriage licensing laws, visit the GDBA website at: www.gdba.org.uk