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Disabled man refused taxi service due to assistance dog Published Date: 04/02/2024

A disabled man who had collapsed from exhaustion says he was refused taxi services because of his assistance dog according to a report by the BBC.

Edward Jones, 46, is registered disabled due to a long-term chronic illness which affects his mobility and on two occasions, he was ignored by "at least eight taxis" outside Chippenham Railway Station because of his dog.

Mr Jones described the events as "devastating and humiliating" as he was unable to get up from the pavement.

On 27 November,he was leaving Chippenham railway station when he collapsed on his way to the taxi rank due to severe fatigue.

In pain and unable to move, he began calling to nearby taxis and waving his walking stick in the air for help.

Mr Jones said the drivers refused to take him because of his dog - a two-year-old Teacup Shih Tzu named George - who helps him with his mental health.

Mr Jones has since been too worried to attempt similar journeys and describes feeling trapped and isolated in a new town.

He said: "For a human being to scoff and laugh at a disabled person and say, 'we don't have to take you anywhere', especially when they are collapsed on the floor. I can't be the only one."

Councillor Caroline Thomas, cabinet member for transport at Wiltshire Council, said: "We are sorry to hear about this incident.

"Our taxi policy is clear that guide dogs and assistance dogs must be carried, and it is illegal to refuse to do so.

"We take this matter very seriously and are investigating this specific complaint."

Great Western Railway said it was "disappointed" to hear of Mr Jones' experience.