Keighley disability group’s TV plea for equal rights

Tom Walsh, who is angry about taxi fees for the disabled

Tom Walsh, who is angry about taxi fees for the disabled

First published in Keighley

A Keighley disability group’s campaign for equal taxi fares was highlighted on TV.

A representative from People First was seen taking undercover private hire rides across the district to check out their charges.

The ‘spy in the cab’ wanted to highlight differences in the fares paid by able-bodied passengers and those in wheelchairs.

The report, filmed last autumn, has been screened as part of BBC1’s Yorkshire news programme Inside Out.

People First, based at Springfield Mills in Oakworth Road, is run by adults with learning disabilities, supported by paid workers.

In 2012, member Tom Walsh carried out research into prices charged by local private hire companies.

He discovered many charged more for wheelchair users – usually because they used specially-adapted larger vehicles – despite laws outlawing disability discrimination.

The BBC team’s new research revealed out of 31 companies across Bradford district, 12 quoted fares between 30 and 100 per cent more for disabled people.

Working on behalf of People First, wheelchair user and disability rights campaigner, Paul Anderson, from Riddlesden, was filmed contacting local taxi firms.

Tom said: “Paul took several private hire journeys to record the variance in prices.”

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