ALL Hackney carriage vehicles licensed in Coventry have access for wheelchairs. They have a ramp or set of parallel ramps to enable access for wheelchairs into the vehicle. The rear seats are required to be lifted to allow the wheelchair to be turned through an angle of 90 degrees with the passenger facing the rear of the vehicle and the wheelchair with its back against the plexiglass partition. The wheelchair must be shackled to the bulkhead using the two restraining straps and the seatbelt extension belt should then be used for the passenger.
N.B. The new London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) TX black cab hybrid electric vehicle has the wheelchair facing the front of the vehicle
London Taxi Company & LEVC Hackney Carriages have a swivel seat to enable a passenger to sit from outside the vehicle and then swivel into the vehicle to gain easier access. These vehicles also have a step which can be fitted for passengers to more easily gain access to the vehicle.
If it is not possible for a wheelchair to be carried safely in a hackney carriage then specialist companies such as Ring and Ride (now called Accessible Transport Group Ltd who operate in the West Midlands) and Route Forward (who operate in the City of Coventry) have vehicles equipped to safely carry the very large wheelchairs currently manufactured.
N.B. Passengers in wheelchairs must not be carried sideways in Hackney Carriage Vehicles. See Birmingham Coroner - Fatality of 14 year old disabled girl in wheelchair.
All hackney carriage vehicles licensed by Coventry City Council (London style black cabs in Coventry) are Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) and all Coventry's fleet of hackney carriages are able to carry the Department of Transport (DFT) designated "reference wheelchair" (a set of dimensions which the DFT have published on their website).
The vehicles licensed by Coventry City Council and able to accommodate the "reference wheelchair" are;
These hackney carriage vehicles may just work from the hackney carriage vehicle ranks or pick up hails from the street and therefore not rent radios from Coventry's licensed Private Hire Operators (PHOs). Some of the vehicles will rent radios from Coventry's licensed PHOs.
All Coventry City Council's Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) are listed here.
N.B. The hackney carriage meter must not be started by the driver until the passenger in a wheelchair is safely and correctly secured in the vehicle. The hackney carriage meter must be stopped before unsecuring the passenger at the end of the journey.
The following video shows a manual wheelchair being correctly and safely loaded and secured in a hackney carriage vehicle;
The following video shows an electric powered wheelchair being correctly and safely loaded and secured in a hackney carriage vehicle;
Hackney Carriage Vehicle Owner's Handbooks and Brochures are available below to download. The Owner's Handbooks in particular show how to correctly secure a wheelchair;
Since 2004 all new applicant drivers have been required to pass a one day training course (addressing customer service, disability issues and licensing issues) at the Taxi Licensing Office held in conjunction with Accessible Transport Group Limited (ATG Ltd - formally West Midlands Special Needs Transport) who operate the Ring and Ride Service. Since 2001 all new applicant hackney carriage drivers have been required to successfully pass Coventry City Council's wheelchair assessment before being licensed.