Blind man's frustration at guide dog not being allowed into taxi

image copyrightRex Bowers
image captionA taxi driver refused to drive Rex Bowers and guide dog Isca

A blind man has told of his frustration after a taxi driver refused to allow his guide dog into the car.

Zaheer Mahmood was fined £300 after refusing to let Rex Bowers, who has no vision at all, and guide dog Isca into his taxi at a Shropshire station.

Mr Bowers, 76, said Mahmood had refused point blank to let Isca in to the car and called for the local authority to remove his taxi licence.

Shropshire Council has been contacted for comment.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionMr Bowers was trying to get from Wellington railway station to his home in Dawley, Shropshire

Mr Bowers had been returning from a trip to Devon and his partner had booked a vehicle for two adults, the guide dog and two large suitcases to meet them at Wellington railway station.

"He spotted Isca who was with me on his lead. He refused point blank," he said.

"I told him you must take a blind man and his dog, otherwise you're committing an offence. But it did no good."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionUnder the Equality Act 2010 licensed taxi drivers can not refuse passengers (stock image)

Mr Bowers, who was wearing a high-vis jacket and dark glasses at the time, said: "I felt like telling him if he could not see I was visually impaired, then he should not be driving.

"I was annoyed but what else can you do."

The couple had to call a second taxi to take them home.

The 2010 Equalities Act states clearly it is illegal for assistance dog owners to be refused access to a taxi or minicab with their assistance dog.

The incident was the first time he has been refused entry in a taxi, but other drivers have initially been scared of Isca, Mr Bowers said.

image captionMahmood was fined £300 at Telford Magistrates' Court

He added: "It is up to the licensing department now to take his licence off him. I would applaud that.

"Other blind people with guide dogs are having this problem."

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