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Taxi driver who refused wheelchair user has St Albans licence revoked

 Published on: 21st February 2019   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A taxi driver has had his license to work in the St Albans district revoked after he refused to take a wheelchair user and a blind man for a journey which was prepaid.

Majid Hussein Butt, who was on call to pick the two up in July last year, pleaded guilty to the offence after a prosecution was brought by St Albans City and District Council.

He was also fined £250 by St Albans’ Magistrates along with a victim surcharge of £30 and a contribution towards the council’s costs of £250.

The disabled people, who were trying to get a taxi from George Street, St Albans to Harpenden, were former Harpenden Mayor, Michael Weaver, who uses a wheelchair and former Chamber of Commerce President, David Clarke, who is blind.

Mr Butt arrived but refused to take the passengers, saying he had a bad back and drove away.

The group were left “stunned” and “disgusted” at the driver’s behaviour, the court heard.

The court were also told that the operator Gold Line, had been told that the passengers were disabled when it was booked.

Councillor David Heritage, chair of the council’s licensing and regulatory committee, said: “We are very sorry at the distress caused by the refusal of one of our licensed taxi drivers to take a wheelchair user.

“The driver’s action has led to both a successful prosecution by the council in the courts and the decision to take away his licence under our convictions policy.

“Under the Equality Act, licensed taxi drivers using accessible vehicles must not discriminate against wheelchair users. They should also give them assistance when required.”

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