A BLIND man and his guide dog were refused a taxi ride because the driver ‘Didn’t want dog hairs in his car’.
Vincent Fotheringham (55), of Bader Close, Grimsby, had been visiting his son Colin at his business in central Grimsby. When he was due to leave, Colin (28) ordered a car for his dad from local taxi firm, Revells Taxis.
When the cab arrived, Mr Fotheringham went to get in with his black labrador, Faldo, and a friend.
But the taxi driver refused point blank to have Faldo in his car, despite such a refusal being against the disability discrimination laws.
Mr Fotheringham said: "The taxi driver said I couldn't get in with my dog. When I explained that it was my guide dog and I needed him, the driver said I wasn't allowed in because he had a decent car and didn't want dog hairs in it.
"I wouldn't mind if there was a valid reason for not taking dogs, for example if he had a phobia. But what peeved me off was the way he came out with it.
"I didn't argue and just asked him to send me another car. I need my dog. I know it's a cliché, but he is my best friend, I go everywhere with him."
Mr Fotheringham's son Colin couldn't believe the way his father had been treated. He went outside to speak to the taxi driver to see what the problem was.
"I was absolutely disgusted when he said he wasn't going to take my father because he didn't want dog hairs in the car," said Colin. "Working in my own business, I am aware of doing things properly, but the taxi driver was just discriminating against the disabled."
What made the incident even more annoying is Mr Fotheringham and Faldo use the taxi company regularly.
"I've had no problems with the firm before, they have always been very good," he said. "I rang them up and the manager apologised.
"But what annoyed me is that I am a regular customer and I always tell them who I am and I have a dog when I book the taxi. So the driver should have known before he got there."
It is understood the driver who refused the lift has since apologised and joint manager Per Svendson said: "We are very sorry. The driver wasn't informed that this particular job involved carrying a dog and he had no idea it was against the law to refuse someone because they have a guide dog."He was way out of order and we apologise to the gentleman concerned."