Bristol taxi driver has license stripped after abandoning blind passenger

Taxis at Bristol Temple Meads railway station
Taxis at Bristol Temple Meads railway station. Credit: Google Maps

A Bristol cabbie has been stripped of his taxi licence after abandoning a blind passenger by the roadside and refusing to help a woman in a wheelchair.

In the first incident, the taxi driver refused to let a blind passenger take his guide dog into the car with him because he said “other passengers did not like the smell”. 

After the passenger tried multiple times to get the dog in the car boot, without the taxi driver's help, the dog became unsettled and fled whilst the two men were arguing. 

Despite the passenger being left without aid in the absence of his guide dog, the driver would not help to find and bring the dog back.

The dog then returned after the taxi driver had left, and the man called for another driver to pick him up.

On a separate occasion, the same cabbie refused to help a woman whose electric wheelchair had run out of charge after he took her to Cribbs Causeway.

Bristol City Council members ruled the cabbie had breached the Equalities Act both times, and his license was revoked during a meeting at City Hall on September 21.

Council members were “concerned that [the taxi driver] had abandoned his blind passenger at the side of the road, after his dog had run off and had offered him no assistance to find it”.

They also upheld the complaint about the electric wheelchair user.

The minutes add: “It was found to be a reasonable request for a wheelchair user to ask for assistance in respect of their electric wheelchair which in any event was needed to alight the vehicle.

“The sub-committee also suggested to [the taxi driver] that he should not reapply for this licence until he has completed the gold standard course.”