Stevenage taxi driver fired for not taking blind woman

Siobhan Mead with her dog Mac

Siobhan Mead with her dog Mac - Credit: Archant

A taxi driver has been sacked for refusing to take a blind woman in his car because she had a guide dog with her.

The driver was let go by ABC Taxis Ltd in Stevenage on Monday for refusing to take Siobhan Meade from outside Lytton Theatre in Vardon Road two weeks ago.

A spokesman for the company said: “We let the driver go because it is not acceptable to refuse to take someone with a guide dog.

“We work very hard to support everyone in the community and we would like to apologise to Ms Meade about what happened. We want to send out a message that we’re a tolerant firm that doesn’t discriminate against anyone.”

Journalist Siobhan, 30, said: “I do not take any pleasure in anyone losing their job but on a human level leaving someone stranded outside on a cold street is unreasonable. Drivers need to know that a guide dog is an extension of a blind person and if they refuse to take them they are committing a criminal offence and will be punished.

“Stevenage is a bad place for this kind of problem and I hope this will go some way to help to addressing it.”

The Disability Discrimination Act makes it illegal for any taxi driver to refuse to pick up a person with a guide dog.