Social Democrats Councillor, Jennifer Whitmore, has drawn attention to the serious lack of wheelchair accessible taxis in Wicklow.
New figures released to the Social Democrats show that Wicklow has the sixth worst record in the country when it comes to wheelchair accessible taxis. In Wicklow there is only one wheelchair accessible taxi for every 7,117 people. Only Tipperary, Kerry, Limerick, Mayo and Clare have worse records.
Cllr. Whitmore said, “The number of taxis is hopelessly inadequate for wheelchair users in Wicklow. We only have 20 for the whole of the county at the moment.
A National Transport Authority grant scheme to encourage greater numbers of wheelchair accessible taxis has been in operation since 2014. While it has helped to improve the number of available taxis, still only 9 grants have been issued to Wicklow taxi drivers.
We need a carrot and stick approach. More grants need to be issued to make it feasible for local taxi drivers to buy or adapt their vehicle so that they can carry wheelchair users. In addition, the Government should give far more weighting to the availability of wheelchair accessible taxis when tendering for taxi services.”