A LIST of wheelchair-friendly taxis is due to be published by Shropshire Council later this year.

The unitary authority hopes that by providing the list on its website, wheelchair users will be able to access suitable transport more readily.

The Strategic Licensing Committee is set to sign off on the work to compile and publish the list of wheelchair accessible vehicles when it meets on Wednesday [June 20].

Currently, there are 84 wheelchair-accessible hackney carriages and private hire vehicles licensed by the council.

Mandy Beever, transactional and licensing team manager, stated in her report that although publishing the list was not a legal obligation, it was recommended by the Department of Transport (DFT). Disability support groups have called on the council to publish the list as soon as possible.

It will also give the unitary authority enforcement powers to take action against those on the list who refuse wheelchair users or overcharge them.

Ms Beever said: “The council wants to ensure passengers in wheelchairs have the information they need to make informed travel choices, and also that drivers and vehicle owners are clear about the duties and responsibilities placed on them.”

The list will include as much information as possible about the vehicle and the operator, including details of the size and weight of wheelchair that can be accommodated.

Ms Beever added: “It is recognised some passengers in wheelchairs may prefer to transfer from their wheelchair into the vehicle and stow their wheelchair in the boot.

“Although the legal requirement for drivers to provide assistance does not extend to the drivers of vehicles that cannot accommodate a passenger seated in their wheelchair, we want to ensure these passengers are provided with as much information as possible about the accessibility of the hackney carriage and private hire vehicle fleet in their area.”

Drivers will be given the opportunity to be left off the list if they wish.

If approved by the committee, the list is expected to be published on November 1.