Not an Access Refusal …

Yet another example of a taxi driver providing a lesser service to me, simply because I have a guide dog. Last week, my husband and I booked a taxi from a friend’s house late in the evening. At the time of booking we told the company, DG Cars, that we had a guide dog with us. When the taxi arrived I opened the back door, my dog got in and laid down in the foot well behind the driver’s seat. At which point the driver said he wanted the dog in the front to which I replied that I wasn’t prepared to sit in the front with my dog as, in the event of the airbag being deployed, the dog could be injured or killed. So consequently I had to listen to the usual tirade which I am getting rather sick of.

The driver doesn’t normally take dogs. Other customers might have allergies. He took an exam so he knew his rights. He’d just paid £20 to have his car cleaned. If he had, then he’d clearly been robbed as the car was filthy.

I admit, I was a little short with the driver as I was tired and experiencing some pain. All I wanted to do was to get home. I did not, however, insult him or use inappropriate language. Of course, I was then in the wrong as I was rude. Yada Yada.

Next thing, the driver did a sudden U-turn in the road and started driving back the other way. Somewhat disconcerting when you can’t see what he’s doing. At this point my husband called DG Cars and told them what was happening. The operator said that the driver had to take us and called the driver to tell him.

So, the upshot was, the driver took us home amidst a lot of further arguing and aggressive gesturing.

I have no confidence that DG Cars are dealing with these situations. They are aware that we are currently pursuing a court case against another driver but they are still allowing their drivers to behave in this manner. We were promised a call from one of their managers which we never received so they clearly don’t care.

My advice is this. If you are disabled or feel vulnerable in Nottingham, do not under any circumstances book a taxi with DG Cars. If you are in support of the situations faced by vulnerable and disabled people, also do not use DG Cars. There are other companies in Nottingham who are far more deserving. Try Yellow Cars in West Bridgford, Central Cars in Bulwell, Alert Cars in Arnold or 200 Cars, I don’t know where they are based.

I’m tired of being treated like dirt because I have a service dog. It’s time we started voting with our feet.

Guide Dogs Campaigns have today launched a survey regarding taxi refusals for guide dog owners. Please consider filling it out. There’s a prize draw you can enter too! You can find it at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GZR6X9H.

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About Mel Griffiths

I live and work in Nottingham, England and am blind. This blog is often centred around things that happen to me because of being blind. This is my space to write and sometimes people will disagree with what I write, but its the one place I have in which to be frank and honest. I also like to reflect on the funnier side of life from time to time.
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