Are you considering visiting London, maybe for a short or long weekend, in these months? Important news is coming, about accessibility for all and, particularly, for those using a wheelchair: starting from April 6th 2017, a new law will enter into force. It was announced last month by the Transport Minister Andrew Jones and ensures free access to cabs for everyone, including people using a wheelchair, who, so far, have been forced to request specifically equipped cabs, with additional costs, apart from the standard route fare. Drivers who won’t comply with this law and refuse to accept travellers on wheelchair or apply an extra-fare or won’t provide the passengers with a proper assistance, will be subjected to very grave sanctions: fines ‘til 1,000 £ and the license suspension or, in extreme cases, its revocation.
It’s not insignificant news, that will involve all the UK, where cabs aren’t only a real institution, but also convenient means of transport (mainly if we compare their fares to the Italian ones…), thanks to the competition among the companies delivering the service. But it’s another sign of attention to accessibility and equal opportunities, as regards the access to public transport, in a country which is very advanced already, in this field.
The deep meaning of this law clearly shines through what Minister Jones said, during its official announcement:
“We want to create a country for all, including people with disability. We must ensure them the same access to services and the same opportunities as anyone else, also when it comes to traveling. Those who use wheelchairs very often use cabs and rental cars and this change to the law will result in a more fair and equal treatment for everyone”.
We hope it won’t remain an isolated case and other countries will follow the UK’s example!