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MOBILITY MATTERS


BASINGSTOKE WOMAN CLAIMS PHV DRIVER REFUSED TO TAKE HER ASSISTANCE DOG


A Basingstoke woman who suffers with seizures has been left feeling upset and embarrassed after she claimed a PHV driv- er refused to allow her into his car with her assistance dog. According to the Basingstoke Gazette, Bex Clifton called Alpha Cars to get home from Basingstoke hospital and claimed the driver refused to allow her assistance dog Maxxy into the car. She said: “He said he didn’t want him in the car. I told him he can’t refuse us and he said he didn’t care. I just felt discriminated against.” Bex relies on Maxxy to alert her when she is about to suffer a seizure. He is trained to recognise a scent released prior to a seizure happening, which enables him to alert Bex so she can make sure she is somewhere safe. “He pulls on my clothes to alert me,” she explained, adding: “I go out more with him because I was worried about having a seizure and he makes me feel more confi- dent knowing I’ll be safe.” Bex called Alpha Cars and the company sent another cab, before offering her an apology. Bex has also reported the matter to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.


She said: “The driver told Alpha Cars that he has an allergy to dogs but you need an exemption certificate if that’s the case which he didn’t have.” A spokesperson for Alpha Cars said: “Alpha Cars assisted a customer in sending a replacement car within five minutes following a customer call. “Management staff called her back staying on the phone talking to the customer advising on the progress of the car. “Alpha Cars is fully compliant with the Equality Act and trans- ports hundreds of individuals a week with specific needs. “It’s alleged that a self employed B&DBC licensed driver failed to pickup the customer with an assistance dog against the conditions of his badge. Basingstoke Council Licencing department are investigating the driver’s conduct.”


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Actor Ruth Madeley has told how a minicab driver took her wheelchair away after an argument outside a London train station. According to The Guardian, the Bafta nominee, who starred in the BBC One drama Years and Years, said the man refused to drop her outside Euston station’s accessible entrance because heavy traffic made it “too difficult” and it would “take too long”. The 33-year-old, who has spina bifida, said the driver told her he had seen her stand up and “knew I could walk” before demanding the fare, despite the journey being prepaid. During the dispute, Madeley said he took her wheelchair, put it in the boot of his car leaving her on the side of the road. When she asked for it back, he refused. She added that she was travelling with her mother, who was able to recover the chair from the driver, “although he tried his best to stop her”. TfL described the incident as “utterly appalling” and said it would investigate. Graham Robinson, TfL’s general manager for taxi and private hire, said in a statement: “This sounds like an utterly appalling incident. We have contacted Ruth for more details so we can carry out a full and urgent investigation.” Madeley said she had reported the incident to the Metropoli- tan police but was told it was not a “hate crime”. “I was shut down and made to feel as though I was making a fuss over nothing,” she added. The incident occurred last month on the day it was announced that Madeley would star in BBC Two’s factual drama Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won.


AUGUST 2021


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