Middlesbrough Council warns taxi firms over disabled fares

Taxi operators on Teesside are being warned they could lose their licences for overcharging disabled passengers.

An investigation by Middlesbrough Council's licensing department found wheelchair users were sometimes charged up to double the standard fare.

The council believes the conduct breaches discrimination laws, according to a licensing committee report.

It has now written to firms and drivers advising them licences could be reviewed if the overcharging continues.

No specific firms are named in the council report.

Licensing officer Tim Hodkingson found the extra charges were being enforced even when the taxis were wheelchair accessible.

He said the increased fares were "as a direct consequence" of a passenger's disability.

The council hopes the warnings will resolve the situation and officials will test compliance in coming months.

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