February 9, 2015

Accessible taxiGood news about taxis from the Environment Department.  Here’s their Media Release:
As part of the new Integrated Transport Strategy, the Environment Department is making it easier for disabled islanders to travel by taxi. As such, an additional category of taxi licence plate has been created that will only be available for vehicles that are specifically designed or adapted for the needs of people with a disability.
Drivers of the new Accessible Taxi Cabs (ATCs) will attend a training course to help them meet the needs of all people with long-term conditions, not just wheelchair users.
The Department is encouraging people who might be considering becoming a taxi driver to apply for the new plates, as well as existing taxi drivers. New drivers would firstly be required to apply for a permit to drive a public service vehicle and pass the relevant medical, driving and Island knowledge tests.
Environment Minister, Deputy Yvonne Burford said: “When researching the Transport Strategy, we got the clear message that people with a disability were finding it difficult to get around the Island.  Encouraging more accessible taxis is just one part of making sure Guernsey’s public transport system meets everyone’s needs.”
To ensure that the new taxis will safely meet the needs of as many disabled islanders as possible, the Department has created a minimum specification for the vehicle, including the width of the ramp and the brightness of the internal lighting. This specification has been developed after detailed consultation with the Guernsey Disability Alliance and HSSD’s Wheelchair Service, with additional input from UK vehicle adaptors to ensure that drivers will be able to find affordable, practical vehicles that fit the criteria.
Operators with an “ATC” licence will be permitted to use the taxi ranks and carry non-disabled clients. However, priority must always be given to disabled people and the Department will be monitoring the success of the initiative and seeking the views of customers and drivers on a regular basis.
Anyone interested in applying for one of the new licences should contact the Environment Department for an information pack and application form.  Please telephone 243400 or email jonathan.guilbert@gov.gg .  Applications must be received by 5pm 25th February 2015.

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