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Equality Bill


Equality Bill
Part 12 — Disabled persons: transport
Chapter 1 — Taxis, etc.

105

 

162     

Designated transport facilities

(1)   

The appropriate authority may by regulations provide for the application of

any taxi provision (with or without modification) to—

(a)   

vehicles used for the provision of services under a franchise agreement,

or

5

(b)   

drivers of such vehicles.

(2)   

A franchise agreement is a contract entered into by the operator of a designated

transport facility for the provision, by the other party to the contract, of hire car

services—

(a)   

for members of the public using any part of the facility, and

10

(b)   

which involve vehicles entering any part of the facility.

(3)   

In this section—

“appropriate authority” means—

(a)   

in relation to transport facilities in England and Wales, the

Secretary of State;

15

(b)   

in relation to transport facilities in Scotland, the Scottish

Ministers;

“designated” means designated by order made by the appropriate

authority;

“hire car” has such meaning as is prescribed by the appropriate authority;

20

“operator”, in relation to a transport facility, means a person who is

concerned with the management or operation of the facility;

“taxi provision” means a provision of—

(a)   

this Chapter, or

(b)   

regulations made in pursuance of section 20(2A) of the Civic

25

Government (Scotland) Act 1982,

which applies in relation to taxis or drivers of taxis;

“transport facility” means premises which form part of a port, airport,

railway station or bus station.

(4)   

For the purposes of section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972

30

(implementation of Community obligations), the Secretary of State may

exercise a power conferred by this section on the Scottish Ministers.

163     

Taxi licence conditional on compliance with taxi accessibility regulations

(1)   

A licence for a taxi to ply for hire must not be granted unless the vehicle

conforms with the provisions of taxi accessibility regulations with which a

35

vehicle is required to conform if it is licensed.

(2)   

Subsection (1) does not apply if a licence is in force in relation to the vehicle at

any time during the period of 28 days immediately before the day on which the

licence is granted.

(3)   

The Secretary of State may by order provide for subsection (2) to cease to have

40

effect on a specified date.

(4)   

The power under subsection (3) may be exercised differently for different areas

or localities.

 
 

Equality Bill
Part 12 — Disabled persons: transport
Chapter 1 — Taxis, etc.

106

 

164     

Exemption from taxi accessibility regulations

(1)   

The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for a relevant licensing

authority to apply for an order (an “exemption order”) exempting the authority

from the requirements of section 163.

(2)   

Regulations under subsection (1) may, in particular, make provision requiring

5

an authority proposing to apply for an exemption order—

(a)   

to carry out such consultation as is specified;

(b)   

to publish its proposals in the specified manner;

(c)   

before applying for the order, to consider representations made about

the proposal;

10

(d)   

to make the application in the specified form.

   

In this subsection “specified” means specified in the regulations.

(3)   

An authority may apply for an exemption order only if it is satisfied—

(a)   

that, having regard to the circumstances in its area, it is inappropriate

for section 163 to apply, and

15

(b)   

that the application of that section would result in an unacceptable

reduction in the number of taxis in its area.

(4)   

After consulting the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee and

such other persons as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate, the Secretary of

State may—

20

(a)   

make an exemption order in the terms of the application for the order;

(b)   

make an exemption order in such other terms as the Secretary of State

thinks appropriate;

(c)   

refuse to make an exemption order.

(5)   

The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision requiring a taxi

25

plying for hire in an area in respect of which an exemption order is in force to

conform with provisions of the regulations as to the fitting and use of swivel

seats.

(6)   

Regulations under subsection (5) may make provision corresponding to

section 163.

30

(7)   

In this section—

“relevant licensing authority” means an authority responsible for

licensing taxis in any area of England and Wales other than the area to

which the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869 applies;

“swivel seats” has such meaning as is specified in regulations under

35

subsection (5).

165     

Passengers in wheelchairs

(1)   

This section imposes duties on the driver of a designated taxi which has been

hired—

(a)   

by or for a disabled person who is in a wheelchair, or

40

(b)   

by another person who wishes to be accompanied by a disabled person

who is in a wheelchair.

(2)   

This section also imposes duties on the driver of a designated private hire

vehicle, if a person within paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1) has indicated

to the driver that he or she wishes to travel in the vehicle.

45

 
 

Equality Bill
Part 12 — Disabled persons: transport
Chapter 1 — Taxis, etc.

107

 

(3)   

For the purposes of this section—

(a)   

a taxi or private hire vehicle is “designated” if it appears on a list

maintained under section 167;

(b)   

“the passenger” means the disabled person concerned.

(4)   

The duties are—

5

(a)   

to carry the passenger while in the wheelchair;

(b)   

not to make any additional charge for doing so;

(c)   

if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the

wheelchair;

(d)   

to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the passenger is

10

carried in safety and reasonable comfort;

(e)   

to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably

required.

(5)   

Mobility assistance is assistance—

(a)   

to enable the passenger to get into or out of the vehicle;

15

(b)   

if the passenger wishes to remain in the wheelchair, to enable the

passenger to get into and out of the vehicle while in the wheelchair;

(c)   

to load the passenger’s luggage into or out of the vehicle;

(d)   

if the passenger does not wish to remain in the wheelchair, to load the

wheelchair into or out of the vehicle.

20

(6)   

This section does not require the driver—

(a)   

unless the vehicle is of a description prescribed by the Secretary of

State, to carry more than one person in a wheelchair, or more than one

wheelchair, on any one journey;

(b)   

to carry a person in circumstances in which it would otherwise be

25

lawful for the driver to refuse to carry the person.

(7)   

A driver of a designated taxi or designated private hire vehicle commits an

offence by failing to comply with a duty imposed on the driver by this section.

(8)   

A person guilty of an offence under subsection (7) is liable on summary

conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

30

(9)   

It is a defence for a person charged with the offence to show that at the time of

the alleged offence—

(a)   

the vehicle conformed to the accessibility requirements which applied

to it, but

(b)   

it would not have been possible for the wheelchair to be carried safely

35

in the vehicle.

(10)   

In this section and sections 166 and 167 “private hire vehicle” means—

(a)   

a vehicle licensed under section 48 of the Local Government

(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976;

(b)   

a vehicle licensed under section 7 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London)

40

Act 1998;

(c)   

a vehicle licensed under an equivalent provision of a local enactment;

(d)   

a private hire car licensed under section 10 of the Civic Government

(Scotland) Act 1982.

 
 

Equality Bill
Part 12 — Disabled persons: transport
Chapter 1 — Taxis, etc.

108

 

166     

Passengers in wheelchairs: exemption certificates

(1)   

A licensing authority must issue a person with a certificate exempting the

person from the duties imposed by section 165 (an “exemption certificate”) if

satisfied that it is appropriate to do so—

(a)   

on medical grounds, or

5

(b)   

on the ground that the person’s physical condition makes it impossible

or unreasonably difficult for the person to comply with those duties.

(2)   

An exemption certificate is valid for such period as is specified in the

certificate.

(3)   

The driver of a designated taxi is exempt from the duties imposed by section

10

165 if—

(a)   

an exemption certificate issued to the driver is in force, and

(b)   

the prescribed notice of the exemption is exhibited on the taxi in the

prescribed manner.

(4)   

The driver of a designated private hire vehicle is exempt from the duties

15

imposed by section 165 if—

(a)   

an exemption certificate issued to the driver is in force, and

(b)   

the prescribed notice of the exemption is exhibited on the vehicle in the

prescribed manner.

(5)   

For the purposes of this section a taxi or private hire vehicle is “designated” if

20

it appears on a list maintained under section 167.

(6)   

In this section and section 167 “licensing authority”, in relation to any area,

means the authority responsible for licensing taxis or, as the case may be,

private hire vehicles in that area.

167     

Lists of wheelchair-accessible vehicles

25

(1)   

For the purposes of section 165 a licensing authority may maintain a list of

vehicles falling within subsection (2).

(2)   

A vehicle falls within this subsection if—

(a)   

it is either a taxi or a private hire vehicle, and

(b)   

it conforms to such accessibility requirements as the licensing authority

30

thinks fit.

(3)   

A licensing authority may, if it thinks fit, decide that a vehicle may be included

on a list maintained under this section only if it is being used, or is to be used,

by the holder of a special licence under that licence.

(4)   

In subsection (3) “special licence” has the meaning given by section 12 of the

35

Transport Act 1985 (use of taxis or hire cars in providing local services).

(5)   

“Accessibility requirements” are requirements for securing that it is possible

for disabled persons in wheelchairs—

(a)   

to get into and out of vehicles in safety, and

(b)   

to travel in vehicles in safety and reasonable comfort,

40

   

either staying in their wheelchairs or not (depending on which they prefer).

(6)   

The Secretary of State may issue guidance to licensing authorities as to—

(a)   

the accessibility requirements which they should apply for the

purposes of this section;

 
 

Equality Bill
Part 12 — Disabled persons: transport
Chapter 1 — Taxis, etc.

109

 

(b)   

any other aspect of their functions under or by virtue of this section.

(7)   

A licensing authority which maintains a list under subsection (1) must have

regard to any guidance issued under subsection (6).

168     

Assistance dogs in taxis

(1)   

This section imposes duties on the driver of a taxi which has been hired—

5

(a)   

by or for a disabled person who is accompanied by an assistance dog, or

(b)   

by another person who wishes to be accompanied by a disabled person

with an assistance dog.

(2)   

The driver must—

(a)   

carry the disabled person’s dog and allow it to remain with that person;

10

(b)   

not make any additional charge for doing so.

(3)   

The driver of a taxi commits an offence by failing to comply with a duty

imposed by this section.

(4)   

A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to a fine not exceeding

level 3 on the standard scale.

15

169     

Assistance dogs in taxis: exemption certificates

(1)   

A licensing authority must issue a person with a certificate exempting the

person from the duties imposed by section 168 (an “exemption certificate”) if

satisfied that it is appropriate to do so on medical grounds.

(2)   

In deciding whether to issue an exemption certificate the authority must have

20

regard, in particular, to the physical characteristics of the taxi which the person

drives or those of any kind of taxi in relation to which the person requires the

certificate.

(3)   

An exemption certificate is valid—

(a)   

in respect of a specified taxi or a specified kind of taxi;

25

(b)   

for such period as is specified in the certificate.

(4)   

The driver of a taxi is exempt from the duties imposed by section 168 if—

(a)   

an exemption certificate issued to the driver is in force with respect to

the taxi, and

(b)   

the prescribed notice of the exemption is exhibited on the taxi in the

30

prescribed manner.

   

The power to make regulations under paragraph (b) is exercisable by the

Secretary of State.

(5)   

In this section “licensing authority” means—

(a)   

in relation to the area to which the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act

35

1869 applies, Transport for London;

(b)   

in relation to any other area in England and Wales, the authority

responsible for licensing taxis in that area.

170     

Assistance dogs in private hire vehicles

(1)   

The operator of a private hire vehicle (O) commits an offence by failing or

40

refusing to accept a booking for the vehicle—

 
 

Equality Bill
Part 12 — Disabled persons: transport
Chapter 1 — Taxis, etc.

110

 

(a)   

if the booking is requested by or on behalf of a disabled person or a

person who wishes to be accompanied by a disabled person, and

(b)   

the reason for the failure or refusal is that the disabled person will be

accompanied by an assistance dog.

(2)   

O commits an offence by making an additional charge for carrying an

5

assistance dog which is accompanying a disabled person.

(3)   

The driver of a private hire vehicle commits an offence by failing or refusing to

carry out a booking accepted by O—

(a)   

if the booking is made by or on behalf of a disabled person or a person

who wishes to be accompanied by a disabled person, and

10

(b)   

the reason for the failure or refusal is that the disabled person is

accompanied by an assistance dog.

(4)   

A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary

conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(5)   

In this section—

15

“driver” means a person who holds a licence under—

(a)   

section 13 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 (“the

1998 Act”),

(b)   

section 51 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions)

Act 1976 (“the 1976 Act”), or

20

(c)   

an equivalent provision of a local enactment;

“licensing authority”, in relation to any area in England and Wales, means

the authority responsible for licensing private hire vehicles in that area;

“operator” means a person who holds a licence under—

(a)   

section 3 of the 1998 Act,

25

(b)   

section 55 of the 1976 Act, or

(c)   

an equivalent provision of a local enactment;

“private hire vehicle” means a vehicle licensed under—

(a)   

section 6 of the 1998 Act,

(b)   

section 48 of the 1976 Act, or

30

(c)   

an equivalent provision of a local enactment.

171     

Assistance dogs in private hire vehicles: exemption certificates

(1)   

A licensing authority must issue a driver with a certificate exempting the

driver from the offence under section 170(3) (an “exemption certificate”) if

satisfied that it is appropriate to do so on medical grounds.

35

(2)   

In deciding whether to issue an exemption certificate the authority must have

regard, in particular, to the physical characteristics of the private hire vehicle

which the person drives or those of any kind of private hire vehicle in relation

to which the person requires the certificate.

(3)   

An exemption certificate is valid—

40

(a)   

in respect of a specified private hire vehicle or a specified kind of

private hire vehicle;

(b)   

for such period as is specified in the certificate.

(4)   

A driver does not commit an offence under section 170(3) if—

 
 

Equality Bill
Part 12 — Disabled persons: transport
Chapter 1 — Taxis, etc.

111

 

(a)   

an exemption certificate issued to the driver is in force with respect to

the private hire vehicle, and

(b)   

the prescribed notice of the exemption is exhibited on the vehicle in the

prescribed manner.

   

The power to make regulations under paragraph (b) is exercisable by the

5

Secretary of State.

(5)   

In this section “driver”, “licensing authority” and “private hire vehicle” have

the same meaning as in section 170.

172     

Appeals

(1)   

A person who is aggrieved by the refusal of a licensing authority in England

10

and Wales to issue an exemption certificate under section 166, 169 or 171 may

appeal to a magistrates’ court before the end of the period of 28 days beginning

with the date of the refusal.

(2)   

A person who is aggrieved by the refusal of a licensing authority in Scotland to

issue an exemption certificate under section 166 may appeal to the sheriff

15

before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of the refusal.

(3)   

On an appeal under subsection (1) or (2), the magistrates’ court or sheriff may

direct the licensing authority to issue the exemption certificate to have effect for

such period as is specified in the direction.

(4)   

A person who is aggrieved by the decision of a licensing authority to include a

20

vehicle on a list maintained under section 167 may appeal to a magistrates’

court or, in Scotland, the sheriff before the end of the period of 28 days

beginning with the date of the inclusion.

173     

Interpretation

(1)   

In this Chapter—

25

“accessibility requirements” has the meaning given in section 167(5);

“assistance dog” means—

(a)   

a dog which has been trained to guide a blind person;

(b)   

a dog which has been trained to assist a deaf person;

(c)   

a dog which has been trained by a prescribed charity to assist a

30

disabled person who has a disability that consists of epilepsy or

otherwise affects the person’s mobility, manual dexterity,

physical co-ordination or ability to lift, carry or otherwise move

everyday objects;

(d)   

a dog of a prescribed category which has been trained to assist

35

a disabled person who has a disability (other than one falling

within paragraph (c)) of a prescribed kind;

“taxi”—

(a)   

means a vehicle which is licensed under section 37 of the Town

Police Clauses Act 1847 or section 6 of the Metropolitan Public

40

Carriage Act 1869, and

(b)   

in sections 162 and 165 to 167, also includes a taxi licensed under

section 10 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982,

but does not include a vehicle drawn by a horse or other animal;

“taxi accessibility regulations” has the meaning given by section 160(1).

45

 
 

 
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