Access to taxis and private hire vehicles: the experiences of disabled people in Wales

In April 2017, it became illegal for taxi and private hire vehicle drivers to discriminate against wheelchair users. The change in law meant that drivers could no longer refuse to take wheelchair users or charge them extra for their journeys. It also required drivers to provide appropriate assistance to wheelchair users.

We wanted to know whether this change in law had made a difference to the experiences of disabled people using taxi and private hire vehicles in Wales.

In November 2017 Disability Wales launched an online survey to capture the experiences of disabled people using taxi and private hire vehicles across Wales. We had been made aware of different issues disabled people were experiencing with taxis and private hire vehicles. We wanted to know how wide spread these issues are across Wales.

Over a three month period we received 97 responses to our survey from across Wales. 78 per cent of respondents identified as disabled people. The overwhelming majority, 64 per cent of respondents stated they had experienced problems when using taxi and private hire vehicles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main issues raised

 

Availability

Disabled people often endure longer waiting times due to a lack of accessible vehicles.

The most common problem reported through the survey was the lack of availability for wheelchair accessible vehicles. Disabled people responding to this survey reported: having to wait hours for pre-booked journeys; being told that accessible taxis are not available during school runs or in the evenings; or standard vehicles being sent instead of the requested accessible vehicle.

 

 “I called taxi companies in Torfaen – only one said they had an accessible taxi, but when I tried to book it for 6.30 pm, they said they didn’t take disabled people out in the evenings!”

The experience of a son booking a taxi for his father to attend a birthday party.

 

 “I waited over an hour and called three times and they said the driver couldn’t see me. I was stood under a light and by an entrance. I noticed a police van so I went and asked for help. The taxi company soon sent a driver”

The experience of a disabled person waiting for a pre-booked taxi.

 

You have to give at least 24 hours’ notice and if its school run time for them, you have no chance between 2 and 4 pm.”

A wheelchair user

 

 

Journeys to school or college

Parents responding to this survey on behalf of their children noted that drivers had poor attitudes towards children with additional needs. School transfer routines were often changed without notice and without considering the effect it may have on the child. School escorts did not seem to have the required training or knowledge to support children with additional needs.

 

A number of responses from the Bridgend area in particular raised issues with school transport.

Either not turning up, turning up late, forgetting to pick up my child, sending cars that are not clearly Taxis. Rude staff who don’t understand the complexities. Different drivers constantly”

A parent of a child with autism’s experience of using school transport in Bridgend.

 

The survey did highlight an example of best practice by one firm in Bridgend “My son has autism, and the original taxi firm were great. They took the time to come to our home and meet my son.”

 

Refusing to take disabled passengers

Disabled people report being repeatedly ignored when hailing taxis or are being refused journeys.

15 per cent of respondents reported being refused a journey due to using a wheelchair or being accompanied by an assistance dog.

 

 

Frustration at observing many companies using accessible taxis but being told that they are not available as they don’t have willing or trained drivers”

The experience of a wheelchair user in Torfaen.

 

“I had an awful time when a taxi driver drove up and saw my wheelchair and shouted “I’m not taking you, ring for a different one”, I was very upset”

A wheelchair user regarding a pre-booked journey in Wrexham.

 

Journey refusal is a regular occurrence for some disabled people with assistance dogs: “Taxi drivers have refused to take me once they see I have a guide dog.”

 

Another guide dog user said “I was threatened by a driver to get my ‘stinking dog’ out of the car”

 

Issues with clamps and ramps

Disabled people’s lives are potentially put at risk as drivers refuse to properly secure wheelchairs into their vehicles.

Drivers are refusing to secure wheelchairs by using clamps, claiming that clamps are not needed. This poses a serious safety issue for wheelchair users as they are at risk of their wheelchair tipping when the vehicle is in motion. Respondents also noted that drivers often do not carry or know how to use the ramps and clamps for their vehicles and rely on the wheelchair user to advise them.

 

“A lot of drivers do not know how to use ramps correctly or how to use seat belts with wheelchairs. We have walked away from some taxis due to safety fears”

A wheelchair user’s experience of using taxis and private hire vehicles.

 

“I’ve had taxi drivers refuse to secure my chair in properly saying they take someone else in my type of Wheelchair and they don’t need securing so they don’t see why they need to do mine even though I’ve explained if it’s not harnessed securely it will move and slide and may even tip over.”

 A respondent from Swansea.

 

Extra charges

Disabled people requesting accessible taxis are reporting being charged higher fares. Many respondents claimed being charged extra simply because they are disabled.  Wheelchair users attributed being charged extra due to requiring an accessible vehicle. “Taxi firms will often use the cost vs usage argument as justification for inflated costs.”

 

“I was charged more £5 instead of £4 for a wheelchair accessible vehicle”.

A wheelchair user from Torfaen

 

“I have been given the wrong change because they think I can’t see the money so won’t notice.”

A vision impaired respondent

 

 

 

Attitudes

Negative experiences using taxi and private hire vehicles are putting many disabled people off using them.

 

“Driver assuming a physical impairment means they have a learning difficulty too and not speaking appropriately to the young person.”

An individual working with young wheelchair users in South Wales reported.

 

“Rude staff who don’t understand the complexities” of disability.  It was ‘not worth his while driving me as he would now have to take time off to clean his car”.

A mother of a child with autism

 

 “There is no awareness no training and understanding!”

The thoughts of a mother of a child with autism.

 

 

Methods to book journeys

Private hire operators need to increase ways passengers can book a journey, to include text-relay, text messages and digital communication.

 

 “It regularly took me over 2 hours to book anywhere as the companies I tried were, in their own words, not allowed to answer Text Relay calls”

A Deaf respondent’s experience of booking a journey

 

Conclusion

 

Despite the recent changes in law, some taxi and private hire vehicle drivers are still discriminating against disabled people. Stronger action needs to be taken by local authorities, taxi and private hire vehicle companies to ensure that disabled people have equal access to taxi and private hire vehicles.

It is important that local authority licencing departments work with operators to provide Disability Equality Training (DET), designed and delivered by disabled people, to increase understanding and ensure disabled people are treated equally. Disability Wales would like DET to be an essential requirement for obtaining a taxi or private hire vehicle license.

 

 

Summary of issues raised in Local Authority area:

 

Blaenau Gwent  ·        No accessible vehicles available during evenings and at night 
Bridgend  School transport:·        lack of disability awareness

·        inconsistency of drivers

 

Caerphilly  ·        Increased fares·        guide dog refusal

·        lack of disability awareness

 

Carmarthen  ·        Lack of accessible vehicles·         guide dog refusals
Cardiff  ·        Guide dog refusals·        lack of accessible vehicles

·        lack of disability awareness

·        increased fares clamps not carried in vehicles., drivers insisting claps are not needed

·        refusal to take wheelchair users

·         drivers unsure how to use ramps and clamps in their vehicles

 

Conwy  ·        Lack of accessible vehicles·        refusal to take wheelchair user

 

Denbighshire  ·        Lack of disability awareness·        refusal to secure wheelchairs in the vehicle

 

Flintshire  ·        Lack of disability awareness·        Drivers unsure how to use clamps and ramps on vehicles
Monmouthshire  ·        Lack of accessible vehicles
Neath Port Talbot  ·        Lack of accessible vehicles·        Lack of disability awareness
Newport  ·        Lack of availability for accessible vehicles·        Issues with school transport and poor driver attitudes

·        Drivers unsure how to use access features on vehicle

 

Pembrokeshire  ·        Lack of accessible vehicles
Powys  ·        Lack of accessible vehicles·        Drivers refusing to transport wheelchair users

·        Lack of accessible booking systems for D/deaf and hearing impaired customers

 

Rhondda Cynon Taf  Problems with school transport·         lack of disability awareness

 

 

Swansea ·        Lack of accessible vehicles·        Guide dog refusals

·        Drivers unsure how to use clamps un vehicles

 
Torfaen ·        Lack of accessible vehicles·        Drivers unsure how to use ramps in vehicle

·        No availability at night for accessible vehicles

·        Booking systems are not accessible for D/deaf and hearing impaired customers

Vale of Glamorgan  ·        Lack of accessible vehicles
Wrexham ·        Lack of accessible vehicles·        Guide dog refusal

 

 

Hygyrchedd tacsis a cherbydau hurio preifat: profiad pobl anabl yng Nghymru

 

Ym mis Ebrill 2017, daeth yn anghyfreithlon i yrwyr tacsi a cherbydau hurio preifat wahaniaethu yn erbyn defnyddwyr cadeiriau olwyn. Golygodd y newid yn y gyfraith na allai gyrwyr bellach wrthod cymryd defnyddwyr cadair olwyn na chodi tâl ychwanegol arnynt ar gyfer eu teithiau. Roedd hefyd yn ei gwneud yn ofynnol i yrwyr ddarparu cymorth priodol i ddefnyddwyr cadair olwyn.

Roeddem am wybod a oedd y newid hwn yn y gyfraith wedi gwneud gwahaniaeth i brofiadau pobl anabl oedd yn defnyddio tacsis a cherbydau hurio preifat yng Nghymru.

Ym mis Tachwedd 2017 lansiodd Anabledd Cymru arolwg ar-lein i ffurfio darlun o brofiadau pobl anabl oedd yn defnyddio tacsis a cherbydau hurio preifat ledled Cymru. Roeddem wedi cael ar ddeall bod pobl anabl yn wynebu amryw o anawsterau wrth ddefnyddio tacsis a cherbydau hurio preifat. Roeddem am wybod pa mor eang yw’r materion hyn ar draws Cymru.

Dros gyfnod o dri mis, derbyniwyd 97 o ymatebion i’n harolwg o bob cwr o Gymru. Roedd 78 y cant o’r ymatebwyr yn diffinio eu hunain fel pobl anabl. Nododd mwyafrif sylweddol o’r rheiny a ymatebodd, sef 64 y cant, eu bod wedi cael problemau wrth ddefnyddio tacsis a cherbydau hurio preifat.

 

 

 

 

Y prif faterion a godwyd

 

Argaeledd

Mae pobl anabl yn aml yn gorfod aros am fwy o amser oherwydd diffyg cerbydau hygyrch.

Y broblem fwyaf cyffredin a nodwyd yn yr arolwg oedd diffyg argaeledd cerbydau sy’n hygyrch i gadeiriau olwyn. Dyma rai o’r profiadau a nodwyd gan y bobl anabl a ymatebodd i’r arolwg hwn: rhaid aros am oriau am deithiau a archebwyd ymlaen llaw; cael gwybod nad yw tacsis hygyrch ar gael ar adegau pan fo plant angen cludiant i’r ysgol, neu gyda’r nos; neu gerbydau cyffredin yn cael eu hanfon yn lle’r cerbyd hygyrch y gofynnwyd amdano.

 

 “Cysylltais â chwmnïau tacsi yn Nhorfaen – dim ond un a ddywedodd fod ganddynt dacsi hygyrch, ond pan geisiais ei archebu ar gyfer 6.30 pm, dywedon nhw nad oeddent yn mynd â phobl anabl allan gyda’r nos!”

Profiad mab yn trefnu tacsi i’w dad er mwyn mynychu parti pen-blwydd.

 

 “Bu rhaid i mi aros am fwy nag awr a galw dair gwaith; dywedon nhw na allai’r gyrrwr fy ngweld. Roeddwn yn sefyll o dan olau, ger mynedfa. Sylwais ar fan yr heddlu, felly gofynnais am help. Anfonodd y cwmni tacsis yrrwr heb oedi mwy”

Profiad person anabl fu’n aros am dacsi wedi’i archebu ymlaen llaw.

 

Mae’n rhaid i chi roi o leiaf 24 awr o rybudd ac os yw’n adeg cludo plant ysgol, does gennych chi ddim gobaith rhwng 2 a 4pm.”

Defnyddiwr cadair olwyn

 

 

Teithiau i’r ysgol neu’r coleg

Nododd rhieni a ymatebodd i’r arolwg hwn ar ran eu plant fod gan yrwyr agweddau gwael tuag at blant ag anghenion ychwanegol. Yn aml, cafodd trefniadau trosglwyddo ysgolion eu newid yn ddirybudd, a heb ystyried yr effaith a allai hyn gael ar y plentyn. Roedd yn ymddangos nad oedd hebryngwyr ysgol yn meddu ar yr hyfforddiant na’r wybodaeth angenrheidiol i roi cymorth i blant ag anghenion ychwanegol.

 

Cafwyd nifer o ymatebion o ardal Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr oedd yn codi materion penodol o ran cludiant ysgol.

Naill ai ddim cyrraedd o gwbl, cyrraedd yn hwyr, anghofio dod i gasglu fy mhlentyn, anfon ceir sydd ddim yn amlwg eu bod yn Dacsis. Staff anghwrtais sydd ddim yn deall y cymhlethdodau. Gwahanol yrwyr o hyd”

Profiad rhiant i blentyn sydd ag awtistiaeth o ddefnyddio cludiant ysgol ym Mhen-y-bont ar Ogwr.

 

Llwyddodd yr arolwg i dynnu sylw at enghraifft o arfer da gan un cwmni ym Mhen-y-bont. “Mae gan fy mab awtistiaeth, ac roedd y cwmni tacsis gwreiddiol yn wych. Roeddent yn fodlon dod i’n cartref a chwrdd â’m mab. ”

 

Gwrthod cymryd teithwyr anabl

Dwedodd pobl anabl eu bod yn cael eu hanwybyddu dro ar ôl tro wrth geisio dal tacsi, neu fod gyrwyr yn gwrthod eu codi.

Nododd 15 y cant o ymatebwyr fod gyrrwr tacsi wedi gwrthod eu cymryd nhw oherwydd eu bod yn defnyddio cadair olwyn neu am fod ci cymorth gyda nhw.

 

Rhwystredigaeth o weld llawer o gwmnïau’n defnyddio tacsis hygyrch, ond cael ar ddeall nad ydynt ar gael oherwydd nad oes ganddynt yrwyr sy’n fodlon eu defnyddio neu eu bod heb gael hyfforddiant”

Profiad defnyddiwr cadair olwyn yn Nhorfaen.

 

“Cefais brofiad ofnadwy pan ddaeth gyrrwr tacsi heibio a gweld fy ngadair olwyn a gweiddi “Dydw i ddim yn mynd â chi, ffoniwch am un arall”, roedd hyn yn ofid mawr i mi”

Defnyddiwr cadair olwyn ynghylch taith wedi’i archebu ymlaen llaw yn Wrecsam.

 

Mae cael eu gwrthod yn ddigwyddiad rheolaidd i rai pobl anabl sydd â chŵn cymorth: “Mae gyrwyr tacsi wedi gwrthod mynd â mi unwaith y byddant yn gweld bod gen i gi tywys.”

 

Meddai defnyddiwr ci tywys arall “Cefais fy mygwth gan yrrwr i gael fy ‘nghi drewllyd’ allan o’r car”

 

Anawsterau â chlampiau a rampiau

Gall bywydau pobl anabl gael eu peryglu wrth i yrwyr wrthod clymu cadeiriau olwyn yn ddiogel yn eu cerbydau.

Mae gyrwyr yn gwrthod clymu cadeiriau olwyn yn ddiogel drwy ddefnyddio clampiau, gan honni nad oes angen y clampiau hynny. Mae hyn yn peri problem ddiogelwch ddifrifol i ddefnyddwyr cadeiriau olwyn, gan fod perygl i’w cadeiriau olwyn droi drosodd pan fydd y cerbyd yn symud. Nododd yr ymatebwyr hefyd nad yw gyrwyr yn aml yn cario rampiau na chlampiau, neu dydyn nhw ddim yn gwybod sut i’w defnyddio nhw, ac maent yn dibynnu ar ddefnyddwyr cadair olwyn i’w cynghori.

 

“Nid yw llawer o yrwyr yn gwybod sut i ddefnyddio rampiau’n gywir na sut i ddefnyddio gwregysau diogelwch gyda chadeiriau olwyn. Rydym wedi cerdded i ffwrdd o rai tacsis oherwydd ofnau ynglŷn â diogelwch “

Profiad defnyddiwr cadair olwyn o ddefnyddio tacsis a cherbydau hurio preifat.

 

“Rydw i wedi cael gyrwyr tacsi yn gwrthod clymu fy nghadair yn gywir, gan ddweud eu bod yn cymryd rhywun arall yn yr un math o gadair olwyn ac nid oes angen iddynt ei chlymu’n sownd, a dydyn nhw ddim yn gweld pam y mae angen iddynt glymu fy un i. Hyn er fy mod i wedi esbonio oni chaiff ei harneisio’n ddiogel, bydd yn symud ac yn llithro, a gall hyd yn oed droi drosodd.”

 Ymatebydd o Abertawe.

 

Taliadau ychwanegol

Mae pobl anabl sy’n gofyn am dacsis hygyrch yn dweud bod prisiau uwch yn cael eu codi. Roedd llawer o ymatebwyr yn honni bod pris uwch wedi cael ei godi arnynt am ddim rheswm ar wahan i’r ffaith eu bod yn anabl.  Roedd defnyddwyr cadeiriau olwyn o’r farn bod disgwyl iddynt dalu mwy oherwydd bod angen cerbyd hygyrch arnynt. “Bydd cwmnïau tacsi yn aml yn defnyddio’r ddadl o gost yn erbyn defnydd fel cyfiawnhad dros gostau ychwanegol.”

 

Codwyd pris uwch arna i, £5 yn hytrach na £4, am gerbyd oedd yn hygyrch i gadair olwyn”.

Defnyddiwr cadair olwyn o Dorfaen

 

“Rydw i wedi cael y newid anghywir oherwydd maen nhw’n meddwl na allaf weld yr arian, felly fydda i ddim yn sylwi.”

Ymatebydd â nam ar y golwg

 

 

 

Agweddau

Mae profiadau negyddol wrth ddefnyddio tacsis a cherbydau hurio preifat yn darbwyllo llawer o bobl anabl rhag eu defnyddio.

 

“Gyrrwr sy’n tybio bod nam corfforol yn golygu bod ganddynt anhawster dysgu hefyd gan beidio â siarad yn briodol â’r person ifanc.”

Unigolyn sy’n gweithio gyda defnyddwyr cadeiriau olwyn ifanc yn Ne Cymru.

 

“Staff anghwrtais sydd ddim yn deall y cymhlethdodau sy’n perthyn i anabledd.”  “Nid oedd gwerth y drafferth iddo fy nghludo gan y byddai’n rhaid iddo gymryd amser i lanhau ei gar “.

Mam plentyn ag awtistiaeth

 

 “Does dim ymwybyddiaeth na hyfforddiant a dealltwriaeth!”

Teimladau mam plentyn ag awtistiaeth.

 

 

Dulliau o archebu teithiau

Mae angen i gwmnïau llogi preifat gynyddu ffyrdd y gall teithwyr archebu taith, i gynnwys cyfnewid testun, negeseuon testun a chyfathrebu digidol.

 

 “Yn aml, roedd yn cymryd dros 2 awr i archebu unrhyw daith, gan nad oedd y cwmnïau y cysylltais i â nhw, yn eu geiriau eu hunain, â chaniatâd i ateb galwadau Cyfnewid Testun”

Profiad ymatebydd Byddar o archebu taith

 

Casgliad

 

Er gwaethaf y newidiadau diweddar yn y gyfraith, mae rhai gyrwyr tacsi a cherbydau hurio preifat yn dal i wahaniaethu yn erbyn pobl anabl. Mae angen i awdurdodau lleol, cwmnïau tacsis a cherbydau hurio preifat weithredu’n fwy pendant i sicrhau bod gan bobl anabl yr un mynediad â phawb arall i dacsis a cherbydau hurio preifat.

Mae’n bwysig bod adrannau trwyddedu awdurdodau lleol yn gweithio gyda chwmnïau tacsi i ddarparu Hyfforddiant Cydraddoldeb Anabledd (DET), wedi’i gynllunio a’i ddarparu gan bobl anabl, i gynyddu dealltwriaeth a sicrhau bod pobl anabl yn cael eu trin yn gyfartal. Hoffai Anabledd Cymru fod DET yn ofyniad hanfodol ar gyfer cael trwydded ar gyfer tacsi neu gerbyd hurio preifat.

 

 

Crynodeb o’r materion a godwyd mewn ardaloedd Awdurdod Lleol:

 

Abertawe ·        Diffyg cerbydau hygyrch
·        Gwrthod cŵn tywys
·        Gyrwyr yn ansicr ynglŷn â sut i ddefnyddio clampiau yn eu cerbydau
Blaenau Gwent ·        Dim cerbydau hygyrch ar gael ar fin-nos ac yn ystod y nos
Bro Morgannwg ·        Diffyg cerbydau hygyrch
Caerdydd ·        Gwrthod cŵn tywys
·        Diffyg cerbydau hygyrch
·        Diffyg ymwybyddiaeth o anabledd
·        Prisiau uwch, dim clampiau mewn cerbydau, gyrwyr yn mynnu nad oes angen clampiau
·        Gwrthod cymryd defnyddwyr cadair olwyn
·         Gyrwyr yn ansicr ynglŷn â sut i ddefnyddio rampiau a chlampiau yn eu cerbydau
Caerfyrddin ·        Diffyg cerbydau hygyrch
·         Gwrthod cŵn tywys
Caerffili ·        Prisiau uwch
·        Gwrthod cŵn tywys
·        Diffyg ymwybyddiaeth o anabledd
Casnewydd ·        Diffyg argaeledd ar gyfer cerbydau hygyrch
·        Anawsterau â chludiant ysgol ac agweddau gwael ymysg gyrwyr
·        Gyrwyr yn ansicr ynglŷn â sut i ddefnyddio offer cymorth mynediad yn eu cerbydau
Castell-nedd Port Talbot ·        Diffyg cerbydau hygyrch
·        Diffyg ymwybyddiaeth o anabledd
Conwy ·        Diffyg cerbydau hygyrch
·        Gwrthod cymryd defnyddwyr cadair olwyn
Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr Cludiant ysgol:
·        Diffyg ymwybyddiaeth o anabledd
·        Anghysondeb o ran gyrwyr
Powys ·        Diffyg cerbydau hygyrch
·        Gyrwyr yn gwrthod cludo defnyddwyr cadeiriau olwyn
·        Diffyg systemau archebu hygyrch ar gyfer cwsmeriaid B/byddar a phobl â nam ar eu clyw
Rhondda Cynon Taf Problemau â chludiant ysgol
·         Diffyg ymwybyddiaeth o anabledd
Sir Benfro ·        Diffyg cerbydau hygyrch
Sir Ddinbych ·        Diffyg ymwybyddiaeth o anabledd
·        Gwrthod clymu cadeiriau olwyn yn ddiogel yn y cerbyd
Sir Fflint ·        Diffyg ymwybyddiaeth o anabledd
·        Gyrwyr yn ansicr ynglŷn â sut i ddefnyddio rampiau a chlampiau yn eu cerbydau
Sir Fynwy ·        Diffyg cerbydau hygyrch
Torfaen ·        Diffyg cerbydau hygyrch
·        Gyrwyr yn ansicr ynglŷn â sut i ddefnyddio rampiau yn eu cerbydau
·        Dim cerbydau hygyrch ar gael wedi nos
·        Nid yw’r systemau archebu’n hygyrch ar gyfer cwsmeriaid B/byddar a phobl â nam ar eu clyw
Wrecsam ·        Diffyg cerbydau hygyrch
·        Gwrthod cŵn tywys

 

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