Nottingham

Taxi driver who refused guide dog loses licence

Archer
Image caption The taxi firm told Mark Whittle the driver was refusing to pick up his guide dog, Archer

A taxi driver who refused to pick up a blind couple and their guide dog has lost his licence.

Mark Whittle and his wife were waiting to be collected by Mohammed Saghir, 59, in Nottingham, in December.

After a member of the public saw the driver pull up, look over and leave, Mr Whittle said the taxi firm told him it was because of his dog, Archer.

Mr Saghir, who was previously fined at court, has now lost his licence after a council review.

The company sent another car to pick up Mr Whittle, who is totally blind, and his wife, who is visually impaired, and told him to report the driver the next day, he said.

Mr Whittle said he didn't want it to happen to anyone else.

"I reported it to taxi licensing because it is not fair. It is discrimination," he said.

Image caption Mark Whittle said the taxi driver has not apologised

Mr Whittle, 57, added: "I feel for him as he has lost his licence, but he knew what he was doing.

"If we phone a taxi, we have to rely on them picking us up. People like me are very vulnerable."

"The majority of taxi drivers are very polite. It is just the odd one."

Nottingham City Council said Mr Saghir, of Sneinton Boulevard, will need to reapply for a licence in future and "be able to demonstrate that he is fit and proper to return to taxi driving".

Councillor Toby Neal said it was "totally unacceptable" for them to be left at the side of the road.

He said: "Under the Equality Act, guide dog and other assistance dog owners have the right to enter the majority of services, premises and vehicles with their dog."

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