To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that there is sufficient provision of accessible taxis for disabled people in rural areas.
16 January 2017
Taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) provide a particularly important service for many disabled people, helping them to remain independent and to complete journeys which may not be possible using other forms of transport.
I recognise that the availability of wheelchair accessible taxis and PHVs varies across Great Britain, particularly in rural areas. I know too, however, that they can sometimes be difficult to access for some ambulant disabled people. As such we encourage local licensing authorities to use their existing powers to ensure that a range of vehicle categories are represented in their taxi and PHV fleets. We have also introduced powers in the Deregulation Act 2015 to enable the sub-contracting of PHV services across local authority boundaries, helping to ensure that wheelchair accessible vehicles are available wherever they are required.