MOBILITY

London is English city with the most wheelchair-accessible taxis

Even so – 86% of local authorities in England have less than one wheelchair-accessible taxi per 1,000 people

  • There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK
  • Four out of five disabled people feel anxious about using public transport
  • In the UK, 1,300 people a month search the keyword ‘wheelchair accessible taxi’ on Google
  • Liverpool is the city with the most wheelchair accessible taxis per 1,000 people – at 2.9 
  • Wakefield is the city with the fewest wheelchair accessible taxis per 1,000 people – at 0.1

In the UK, 1,300 people a month search the keyword ‘wheelchair accessible taxi’ on Google, according to data found using online visibility and marketing tool SEM Rush; while 390 people a month search ‘taxis with wheelchair access near me.’ Highlighting the need for wheelchair accessible taxis across the UK.  

To investigate Taxi2Airport.com analysed new data released by Gov.uk to find out which cities in England have the most – and least – wheelchair accessible taxis per 1,000 people. To highlight how much work is needed in bettering disabled-friendly transport.

After all, in an article posted by The Independentit was revealed four in five disabled people feel anxious about using public transport.  And with 13.9 million disabled people in the UK (figures from Scope.org.uk), it is a topic that deserves to be taken seriously.  

THE RESULTS:

Top 10 cities in England with the most wheelchair-accessible taxis per 1,000 people:

Liverpool (2.9)

Coventry (2.3)

London (2.3)

Worcester (2.0)

Manchester (2.0)

Norwich (1.5)

Newcastle upon Tyne (1.5)

Sheffield (1.4)

Plymouth (1.3)

Preston (1.3)

Liverpool is the city with the most wheelchair-accessible taxis per 1,000 people. In total, there are 1,426 wheelchair accessible taxis in this city, which equates to 2.9 per 1,000 people. 

Next is Coventry. In Coventry there are 859 wheelchair-accessible taxis, which equates to 2.3 per 1,000 people. 

Followed by London. In London there are 20,136 wheelchair-accessible taxis, which equates to 2.3 per 1,000 people. 

Major cities in England with the least wheelchair-accessible taxis per 1,000 people:

Lincoln (0.3)

Southampton (0.3)

Canterbury (0.2)

York (0.2)

Gloucester (0.1)

County Durham (0.1)

Lancaster (0.1)

Bath (and North East Somerset) (0.1)

Lichfield (0.1)

Wakefield (01)

Taxi2Airport.com also found: 

  • 58% of all taxis were wheelchair accessible in 2019.
  • The number of authorities requiring disability awareness training for taxi drivers has increased from 41% to 44%.
  • 66% of authorities require all or part of the taxi fleet to be wheelchair accessible, an increase from 65%. 

HOWEVER, although data from Gov.uk shows some progress, there is work still to be done:

34% of authorities do NOT require all or part of the taxi fleet to be wheelchair accessible. 

To find out more Taxi2Airport.com spoke with Ann Frye OBE (left), a leading expert on accessible travel worldwide.

Ann commented on behalf of drivingmobility.org.uk. She said: “There has been enormous progress in the UK in the last 30 years in introducing technical standards for accessibility, particularly in bus and rail. Already all buses in service must meet accessibility requirements and by the end of this year the same will apply to trains.

“Major cities also have large numbers of accessible taxis in service. There are Europe wide laws in place on the rights of disabled people in air travel. All this means that many more disabled people are travelling.

However, there are still many barriers to overcome including: lack of information about what is available and possible; lack of training so that front line staff do not always understand the needs of a disabled person; a general lack of understanding still about the needs of people with hidden disabilities including mental health conditions, autism and dementia who can be very challenged by the transport environment. 

“And of course, in rural areas there is often no public transport available so people need to rely on continuing to drive or seeking support from family and friends which can obviously undermine independence and spontaneity.” 

Main picture from Wheelchair Access Taxi.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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