Nottingham Trent University student Charley Jonstone-Brent, 20, has been in a wheelchair since February when he was hit by a bus
(Image: Nottingham Post/BPM Media)
A wheelchair user says he was told he was “too fat” to ride in a taxi as part of the regular discrimination he faces.
Charley Jonstone-Brent, 20, who is a freshman at Nottingham Trent University, said he suffered “a great deal of stress and anxiety” as a result of the abuse he experienced while trying to get into taxis around the city .
Charley became a wheelchair user in February after being hit by a bus in Bullwell. Nottinghamshire Live reports.
The ordeal also had a serious impact on the young man’s mental health, leaving him suffering from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The student, who now lives in Radford, said: “I am a regular user of Nottingham taxis, especially as a wheelchair user it is not always easy to use a bus.”
In addition, using public transport causes him “stress and anxiety,” he added.
And he spoke about the problems of using taxis. “There were quite a few issues with me being a wheelchair user and getting into a taxi.
“Almost every day, the first thing a cab driver will do is comment on my weight and say I’m too fat to ride in their cab.”
He continued, saying: “Me and my wheelchair weigh less than 300kg, the safe loading weight of the vehicle ramp. Another thing they say is that their ramps don’t work or they forgot their ramps at home.
“They shouldn’t go out without their ramps and it’s a criminal offense if they do so. If they reluctantly go down a ramp, they’ll berate me.”
Mr Jonstone-Brent said he makes an average of two taxi journeys a day, five days a week. The student said he spends between £60 and £100 a week just on taxi rides. He explained that he uses green and black cab taxis, which are lined up around the city.
But he said he gets “that kind of comments and discrimination” from some drivers at least three times a week. He added, “I just want people to be more aware of that.”
Charlotte Throssel, chief executive of the charity Disability Support in Nottingham, said: “I think that is shameful for the young man and downright rude of the taxi drivers. Discrimination against disabled people is generally increasing.
“I think the services should be reminded that not only is this discriminatory, rude and shameful, but they are losing money by rejecting this gentleman. Your attention should be drawn to the Purple Pound and take a refresher course on the Equality Act.”
Mr Jonstone-Brent explained he was so fed up with the situation that he specifically reported the latest incident he encountered to Taxi Licensing, a service of Nottingham City Council. The local authority confirmed that it was aware of the latest allegation and that the council had spoken to the driver of the taxi in question.
A spokesman for Nottingham City Council said: “We are aware of Mr Jonston-Brent’s concerns and have spoken to him directly and will investigate this further. We also spoke to the driver to remind him of the rules. All taxi drivers know that any form of discrimination against wheelchair users is unacceptable.
“All Hackney Cabs in Nottingham are London-style taxis with disabled access and we expect private taxi companies to have a responsibility to offer disabled vehicles. Any formal complaints we receive will be fully investigated and may result in criminal prosecution and either the revocation or suspension of the driver’s license.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/student-left-disabled-after-being-26841271 A student became disabled after being hit by a bus and said he was "too fat" to ride a cab