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.
Please note: 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.
Please note: Passengers in wheelchairs must not be carried sideways in Hackney Carriage Vehicles.
Designated vehicle list (under s.165 Equality Act 2010)
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;
- London Taxi Company (LTCs); TX4 and TX
- Mercedes-Benz/one80; Vito 111, 113, 114 CDI Taxi or Vito M8 Taxi (this vehicle must have the additional rear wheel steering to meet the 25ft turning circle requirement)
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.
See all of Coventry City Council's Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs).
All of these vehicles can accomodate the “reference wheelchair” which is defined as 700mm in width, 1200mm in length, and 1350mm in height. A diagram of the “reference wheelchair” can be found on page 97 of the Department for Transport's 2022 Reference Wheelchair Standard and Transport Design research report. It must be noted that if the wheelchair has any additional features, e.g. extension pieces for legs, then the wheelchair may not be able to be turned through ninety degrees due to the floor where it is raised to accomodate the rear wheels.
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.
Medical exemptions for drivers
The Driver may have a Medical Exemption for taking a disabled passenger and/or an Assistance Dog under the Equality Act 2010. If the driver has this the vehicle will display a Notice of Exemption in the front window with a photograph of the driver, a wheelchair with a diagonal line through it (if the driver is exempt from taking a disabled passenger) and at the bottom a photograph of a dog with an 'X' next to it with "No Dogs" (if the driver is exempt from taking assistance dogs).
Loading of wheelchair into a hackney carriage vehicle
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;
View the LEVC TX electric hybrid instructions.
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.
Taxi licensing officeAddress: Whitley Depot
259 London Road