ERDA: the only black cab in the village not enough

A NEW VEHICLE FOR THE DIAL A BUS SERVICE, WHICH TAKES PEOPLE WITH MOBILITY PROBLEMS TO THE SHOPS. IT WAS BOUGHT THANKS TO FUNDING FROM THE CITY OF EDINBURGH COUNCIL. MURIEL WILLIAMS AND HER WHEELCHAIR (PICTURED) USE THE BUS WHICH WAS HANDED OVER BY COUNCILLOR MARK LAZAROWICZ.
A NEW VEHICLE FOR THE DIAL A BUS SERVICE, WHICH TAKES PEOPLE WITH MOBILITY PROBLEMS TO THE SHOPS. IT WAS BOUGHT THANKS TO FUNDING FROM THE CITY OF EDINBURGH COUNCIL. MURIEL WILLIAMS AND HER WHEELCHAIR (PICTURED) USE THE BUS WHICH WAS HANDED OVER BY COUNCILLOR MARK LAZAROWICZ.

East Renfrewshire council licensing committee is set to examine how well the area is served with wheelchair accessible taxis after hearing from a disability action group.

East Renfrewshire Disability Access (ERDA) issued a questionnaire across interested parties including those in care homes, housing association tenants and retirement homes.

“We have been gathering information from people who have to use a taxi to get around,” said ERDA chair Michael McEwan.

“There are so many wheelchair users who have to call in a taxi from Glasgow due to a lack of accessible black hackney cabs in the area.

“We’ve had it confirmed from the council that their is only one black hack licensed in the whole of East Renfrewshire. And we’re hoping to be invited to the next licensing committee meeting.”

While the area is well-served with private car hire firms, Mr McEwan explained that private cars and ordinary hackneys can fit some wheelchairs but it’s a squeeze, especially if there is more than one passenger.

He added: “It’s very uncomfortable and often involves manhandling passengers into or out of the cab.

“And, whenever they do need a black cab, especially a properly adapted one, many of our group say they have to call a Glasgow city wheelchair accessible hackney company, which can involve an extra charge.”

A spokeswoman for TOA, the largest hackney cab firm in the city, confirmed that some areas may be out of Glasgow city boundaries.

She added: “There’s no extra charge for wheelchair access cabs. The only extra cost would be if the passenger is outwith our city boundary.”

A council spokesman confirmed: “The meeting of the licensing committee at which the report on wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) is to be discussed will be held on Wednesday, October 22.”

He explained that some items on the agenda are exempt and press and public will be excluded from these.