A recent article in a nation paper announced 'A disabled woman hopes a landmark legal victory against a London taxi driver who started the meter before her wheelchair was loaded will empower other disabled passengers'.
Emma Vogelmann, 25, and her PA Laura Creek challenged the cabby when he set the clock running before lowering the ramp on his cab outside King’s Cross station.
The driver has been found guilty under the Equality act.
Wheelchair passengers wishing to be dropped outside the front door of selected shops on Tottenham Court Road at certain times during the day, will soon be told by the taxi driver they don't have access to the street in day time hours and they can only be dropped in streets running adjacent to Totenham Court Road.
This new system is at the bequest of Camden Council, TfL and the Mayor of London.
Our question to Emma Vogelmann and her PA Laura Creek....."will you both be empowered enough to take a law suits out against Camden Council's leader Georgia Gould, TFL's Mike Brown and Sadiq Khan under the Equality act with the same gusto as they used to prosecute the cabby.....or does the Equality act only apply to Taxi drivers " ???
If Emma Vogelmann and her PA Laura Creek can be empowered to take this line, then perhaps disabled groups across the capital will take up the gauntlet.
Perhaps this is also an avenue that can be explored by our own representative groups on behalf of their subscribers ???
Why should it be that a cabby can't discriminate against a disabled person, but Camden Council and TfL can ???
Perhaps we need a test case
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
This could be argued in all manners of being hired but not immediately "loaded" as your time is required.
I remember Mr Miller tellng me and other new drivers on our pep talk, that we were hired on the moment of "hiring" and this meant putting your meter on, the fact that this driver was fully attentive and exclusive to the hirer and only the hirer, flies in the face of that statement as it could suggest that if someone else approached the driver with a more lucrative fare he could rightly decide to accept this proposition as his hire light would still be because of this ruling because he was without argument not fully engaged contractually to the first hirer.
The disabillity acts are there to ensure fairness to the disabled but if it becomes a tool of elevating rights above others it will surely be abused in a way this judicial decision hoped to prevent, and that is not what we as professional hope will happen.