Bury private hire driver fined after refusing to take guide dog from Bury Blind Society
A Private hire driver who refused to carry a guide dog for the blind has been handed a bill of more that £500. Muhammad Ibrar attended Bury Blind Society in Tenterden Street in April this year to pick up three passengers and an assistance dog, but refused to allow the animal into his car. The passengers had to phone for another cari to pick them up, and complained the following day to Bury Council’s licensing service.
At Manchester Magistrates’ Court Ibrar, aged 26, of Heywood Street, Bury, pleaded guilty to failing or refusing to carry out a booking accepted by his operator because an assistance dog was accompanying a disabled person. Ibrar was fined £250 and ordered to pay £250 in costs plus a £30 victim surcharge.
Angela Lomax, Bury Council’s head of trading standards and licensing, said:
“Refusing to transport an assistance dog is an offence and we will not tolerate such refusals unless the driver has a valid exemption certificate issued by the licensing service. We hope that the financial penalty imposed by the magistrates will deter any driver who may be minded to refuse passengers with assistance dogs. We would also like to thank the passengers who reported this case to us.”
Cllr Judith Kelly, cabinet member for corporate affairs and regulatory services, added:
“Thousands of disabled people rely on an assistance dog to help them with day-to-day activities that many people take for granted. We are committed to an accessible public transport system in which disabled people have the same opportunities to travel as other members of society. Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles play a vital role in this and it is important that people who use wheelchairs or assistance dogs are confident that drivers will accept them and their wheelchair or assistance dog and carry them at no extra charge.”
Source: Bury Times, 08 November 2017, all rights acknowledged