|“Disabled people may soon have access to a new taxi in the City of Edinburgh!”|
|The disability democracy & society group have recently tried out the new E7 Taxi
in response to an invite from our City Council Cab inspector,
Allied Vehicles Ltd
A Scottish Company that produced this taxi
had asked the City of Edinburgh Council to approve their taxi for use in the City.
Our members had the opportunity to view the taxi at the cab office. This is were the taxi licensing officer works from and is were the policing of taxies takes place, fitness & use, taxi licences for owners and operators and a point of contact for the public to make complaints or have their questions answered.
Our members on this occasion were able to try using the ramps, wheelchair and seat belt restraints. Our feedback from this exercise was taken as evidence at a Edinburgh City Council Executive meeting and was warmly received. However, on that occasion the Council were not able to pass the application for technical reasons and decided on a wider consultation.
One Councillor asked if any disabled people in Edinburgh had tried a journey in the new E7? At this point we did not know of anyone having used one. We decided to invite Allied Vehicles Ltd to bring a E7 taxi to the Thistle Foundation, home of the DDSG group and allow us to take short journeys. Allied Vehicles duly obliged and one Friday afternoon a shiny E7 taxi appeared at the door, Many of our members and others around on the day took journeys in the Taxi.
The feedback was really honest and to the point. Our members generally liked the vehicle with some members saying that it could make such a difference against using the traditional TX11 type taxi that does not meet their personal needs, Our members felt that there was lots more room in the E7 and liked the fact that they could travel with more than one companion. At one point we had a member using a very large power wheelchair, a man with a video camera, the Allied rep and myself in the back of the taxi all at the same time; let’s see that happening in a Fairway or TX11.
With the new evidence gathered, our group sent a second delegation to the full council meeting on the 24th June 2004. On this occasion, the Councillors had a free vote and it was decided to not make the decision until September when the full Council meets again.
Our view is; why wait? If this vehicle improves the taxi fleet and meet their needs then there should be no questions around not allowing it (the E7) to be licensed by our City Council and available for use by disabled people.