Fair4All: A Quality Assurance Scheme for Disabled People Using Taxis and Minicabs in Buckinghamshire
On 4 September 2014, the Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper MP, formally launched Fair4All: a new voluntary quality assurance scheme for licensed taxis (hackney carriages) and minicabs operating in Buckinghamshire. Fair4All ensures that disabled people receive fair and good quality service when using taxis and minicabs belonging to the scheme, thus helping eliminate abuse and bad practice.
Fair4All is a collaborative project by taxi licensing authorities in Bucks and Buckinghamshire Disability Service, which is the only independent pan-disability user-led charity in Bucks. Fair4All is a project ‘Inspired by 2012’ and part of the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy in Bucks.
How Fair4All Works
Membership of Fair4All is free and open to all taxi and minicab operators in Bucks who already have a local authority or NHS contract, normally operate at least one wheelchair-accessible vehicle, have trained their drivers in disability awareness, and of course agreed to sign up to the Fair4All Code of Practice. Operators who sign up to the scheme will get a tamper-proof sticker to place in all their vehicles showing that they are members of Fair4All.
Fair4All is a mark of real quality and has been welcomed by all reputable taxi and minicab operators. BuDS strongly encourages all disabled people and organisations who arrange transport for disabled people, such as local authorities, care homes, health providers, disability charities, social care providers, community centres etc, to use only Fair4All operators.
Fair4All is rigorously policed by disabled people themselves with the support of taxi licencing officers. The sticker in each cab says how to feedback comments or complaints. All complaints are received or concerns expressed about the taxi or minicab operator are investigated by BuDS and the operator may be suspended from the scheme until improvements are made or at worst excluded.
Fair4All is managed online through a new website which will enable operators to apply for and manage their membership and the public to easily find and book a Fair4All taxi or minicab. This website will be developed and improved in phases to ensure stability.
The Fair4All Code of Practice
As a Fair4All taxi or minicab operator, I will always:
- Welcome disabled passengers into my cab.
- Ask my disabled passengers what they need and how I can help. I will listen carefully to what they say and be patient and understanding.
- Help my disabled passengers when they ask for it. I will assist disabled passengers to get in and out of my cab if they ask for help and carry wheelchairs, luggage or bags if the customer can’t do it.
- Offer a cab which meets my disabled customer’s needs. I will ask if the customer needs a wheelchair accessible cab or would prefer a MPV or sedan car.
- Agree a fair price for the journey before it starts. A fair price means I will charge the normal price for that cab and won’t charge extra just because the customer is disabled.
- Carry wheelchairs, mobility aids and assistance dogs without extra charge.
- Inform my disabled passengers immediately if I can’t meet a booking and help them to find another cab.
Download the Fair4All codes and practices