Taxi drivers praised by Lichfield District Council after undercover operation with Guide Dogs charity

A picture of guide dog Pebble.
Guide dog Pebble.

Licensing officers from Lichfield District Council have joined forces with the charity Guide Dogs to check that local taxi drivers are complying with their legal requirement to carry guide or other assistance dogs.

Last month, an undercover licensing officer was joined by Regional Policy and Campaigns Manager, Jessica Luke, and her working guide dog, Pebble, to take journeys in taxis that had been booked in advance and from those parked on a taxi rank.

No drivers refused to take the fare, although one did drive off when Jessica and Pebble approached a taxi rank. That driver was later questioned by licensing officers and was able to prove that he had received a booking for another journey.

A spokesperson for Lichfield District Council said:

“This operation was organised after receiving intelligence that taxi drivers have been refusing to carry visually impaired people accompanied by a working guide dog. I’m pleased that all the drivers who were checked during this operation complied with their legal requirement to carry guide dogs and thank
them for doing so.

“Further operations are planned, and it’s worth reminding drivers that if they do refuse to carry an assistance dog, including a guide dog, they face having their license suspended or revoked, and prosecution. Guide dogs is a fantastic charity and I’m very grateful for their support in helping us protect the rights of visually impaired people in Lichfield District.”

Published: 17 May 2024