Designated wheelchair accessible vehicles
The Government has now commenced Sections 165 and 167 of the Equality Act 2010 (“the Act”). Section 167 of the Act provides Councils with the power to make lists of wheelchair accessible vehicles, described as “designated vehicles”. Cheshire West and Chester Council have used this power to list all such vehicles.
For a vehicle to be classed as wheelchair accessible it must be capable of carrying some, but not necessarily all types of occupied wheelchairs. The vehicle will only be included in the Council’s list if it would be possible for the user of a 'reference wheelchair' to enter and exit the vehicle and travel in the passenger compartment in safety and reasonable comfort whilst seated in their wheelchair.
The driver of a designated vehicle must:
- carry the passenger while in the wheelchair
- not make any additional charge for doing so
- carry the wheelchair if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat
- take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort
- give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required.
If a driver fails to comply with any of the above while designated vehicle for hire and reward they will be committing an offence.
For more guidance visit the Gov.UK website.