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West Suffolk Council opens taxi policy survey on wheelchair accessible vehicles clause




Independent surveys of taxi drivers, wheelchair users, other disabled people and people who have mobility issues but would not identify themselves as being disabled, have begun in West Suffolk.

These come as part of a review agreed by West Suffolk Council’s cabinet last year into its taxi policy handbook, specifically the clause covering wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs).

The council has received letters of concern by taxi drivers from across West Suffolk about the clause and the council is looking to work with drivers to improve communication between the trade and the licensing authority.

Some of West Suffolk's taxi drivers having a mass demonstration and handing in a letter of concern to the council at West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Mark Westley.
Some of West Suffolk's taxi drivers having a mass demonstration and handing in a letter of concern to the council at West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Mark Westley.

The two surveys, conducted by Licensed Vehicle Survey and Assessment (LVSA) will offer both drivers and those responding to the accessibility survey, which will be sent to a number of disability groups in West Suffolk as well as Age UK, the assurance of their anonymity when the results go back to the Council.

Jen Eves, director responsible for licensing at the council, said: “The information we will get back will help us to consider the demand for WAV hackney carriage vehicles across West Suffolk, ensuring that in the future our policy supports taxis to continue to provide as good and widely accessible a service as possible.”

Both surveys will close on October 4, at 5pm, and after completing their findings a full consultation on any policy changes will take place in 2022.

The taxi drivers survey is being sent directly to them by email but people who use wheelchairs, other disabled people and people who have mobility issues but would not identify themselves as being disabled, can go to www.ctstraffic.co.uk/westsuffolkwavuser or call 01772 251400.

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