Taxi Driver Refuses To Take Guide Dog

We may think that the following is an isolated incident but this is still not the case.  One of our members shared a similar experience with a taxi driver refusal with a Huddersfield  taxi firm yesterday and I have expereienced numerous experiences of similar events happening to me over recent years. Fortunately I am pleased to say, our member was able to sort the matter out with out it resulting in another court appearance but such occurances are still too frequent.
Just over a month ago, a receptionist preventeed me and a group of other people using the first taxi that came along because she thought another taxi was more suitable to carry a guide dog.
The subsequent taxi driver that came along, put this correct with the person but I still don’t feel that she was totally convinced.
Taxi driver refused to let blind passenger’s guide dog into his car  because
he thought his boss would ‘go ballistic’
Desmond Baldwin, who’s registered blind, ordered the taxi from a local firm
But driver James Chesney, 53, refused to have guide dog Denby in his car
Claimed a driver who shared the car had a daughter with an allergy to dogs
Chesney has been fined more than £1,000 for breaching the Equality Act
A taxi driver could lose his cab licence after refusing to take a fare
because the passenger had a guide dog. James Chesney, 53, was fined £1,000
for telling the customer his boss  would ‘go ballistic’ if the golden
retriever was allowed into the car. The driver claimed Desmond Baldwin ‘s
guide dog, Denby, could cause the  daughter of one of the other drivers to
have an allergic reaction. Chesney, from Droylsden, Tameside, was charged
under the Equality Act with  refusing to take a pre-booked disabled
passenger because he was accompanied by an  assistance dog.
Taxi driver James Chesney, pictured left, has been found guilty of
breaching the Equality Act for refusing to pick up blind customer Desmond
Baldwin,  pictured right, from his house because he was with his guide dog
Denby He denied the offence but was found guilty by Manchester magistrates
after a three-hour trial. He was fined £300 and ordered to pay £800 costs.
The court heard how Mr Baldwin had pre-booked the taxi to go for a meal
with friend Stephen Kingsberry, who is also blind, at The Pearl restaurant
in  Audenshaw on June 24.
Laura Raine, prosecuting on behalf of Manchester council, said when  Chesney
arrived he refused to take the fare, stating his boss would ‘go ballistic’.
Mr Kingsberry’s carer Pauline Harrop told magistrates she was ‘100 per
cent sure’ Chesney refused to take them on those grounds.
Chesney said he believed the car was exempt from taking guide dogs
because his colleague – who also drove the vehicle – had a poorly daughter
who may be allergic  to dogs.
Trial: Chesney denied the charge – claiming he was exempt from taking
guide dogs as another driver who used the car had a daughter with a dog
allergy,  but he was found guilty at Manchester Magistrates’ Court, pictured
But he also claimed he was about to take the men to the restaurant when
another cab, from Hastings taxis, the same company, pulled up and took them.
James Street, defending, told the court the firm had sent another car as
a replacement and added: ‘He didn’t refuse the job, he queried it and when
he was  told to go (and do the job) he did it.’
Magistrates ruled Chesney ‘appeared confused by the sequence of
events’ when he gave evidence in court, while Mr Baldwin and Miss Harrop
were ‘clear  and concise’.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Baldwin, 59, from South Elmsall, near
Pontefract, West Yorkshire,  said: ‘I’m glad
he’s been found guilty. It’s over with now and let’s hope it reminds
the other taxi drivers they can’t refuse people with guide dogs.’
Mr Kingsberry, who made an official complaint which sparked the
investigation, added: ‘I believe everyone who has a guide dog has the right
to go where they  want.’