Disabled Northampton man left stranded again after taxi drivers refused to take him home

Motorised wheelchair user Peter Ford next to the taxi rank in Mercers Row. He has been left stranded in the centre of town twice after taxis refused to take him home because of his wheelchair.
Motorised wheelchair user Peter Ford next to the taxi rank in Mercers Row. He has been left stranded in the centre of town twice after taxis refused to take him home because of his wheelchair.
Share this article
  • Wheelchair user claims he has been snubbed by taxi driver four times in three weeks
  • Hackney Carriages are legally obliged to take wheelchair passengers
  • Northampton Borough Council investigating incidents

A Northampton wheelchair user who featured in the Chronicle & Echo when two taxi drivers refused to take him home in the early hours of the morning - said he was refused by cabs again at the weekend.

Former warehouse worker Peter Ford, who uses a motorised wheelchair, claims he has now been snubbed by Hackney Carriage drivers on four occasions in the last three weeks, despite the fact black cabs are required by law to take wheelchair users.

Taxi driver Tony O'Callaghan displays the ramps and straps that all black cabs carry to enable them to transport disabled passengers.

Taxi driver Tony O'Callaghan displays the ramps and straps that all black cabs carry to enable them to transport disabled passengers.

The Chronicle & Echo first reported that Mr Ford had been refused service by two cabbies on Mercer’s Row after a night out on February 15, in a story published on Saturday (March 1).

But on the same evening after the story was published Mr Ford claims he was left stranded by taxi drivers again.

He claims he had been out for a curry with friends and when he went to get a taxi home from Mercer’s Row at around 11.30pm, two separate cabbies told him they could not take his ‘type’ of wheelchair.

“I just said to the taxi driver ‘I can’t believe you are telling me this’,” Mr Ford said. “My friends were completely shocked.

This is getting out of hand now, it’s completely not on

Peter Ford

“This is getting out of hand now, it’s completely not on.”

Mr Ford, 42, of Kingsthorpe Hollow lodged a complaint with the council about the incident on February 15 and will be lodging another complaint about the incident on March 1.

He was eventually taken home by a private taxi firm.

Northampton Borough Council, which is the licensing authority for Hackney Carriages in the town, says it is looking into the February 15 incident and will be checking CCTV footage around that time.

Tony O’Callaghan of the Fallow Walk-based Black Cab Company, drives a near identical Hackney Carriage to the two men who allegedly refused to take Mr Ford.

He said: “The fact the drivers told him they couldn’t take him is absolute rubbish.

“We are all kitted out with ramps. If we haven’t got the facilities, then the vehicles are not allowed to be on the road, simple as that.”

A Northampton Borough Council spokesman said: “We will be carrying out a full and thorough investigation into this complaint, which will include examining any available CCTV footage and tracking down the two police officers who apparently assisted this gentleman.

“We are keeping Mr Ford updated on the progress of our investigation.”

Hackney Carriages must comply with the Disability Discrimination Act and be able to carry wheelchairs.

They are not permitted to turn passengers away on the grounds of disability.