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After Clause 22, insert the following new clause:

New licences conditional on compliance with accessibility regulations

(".—(1) No licensing authority shall grant a licence ("a new licence") for a taxi to ply for hire in an area unless the vehicle conforms with those provisions of the accessibility regulations with which it will be required to conform if licensed.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to a taxi if the licensing authority is renewing an existing licence for that taxi.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), a licence is an existing licence in relation to a taxi only if it is in force immediately before the grant of the new licence with respect to that taxi.
(4) The Secretary of State may by order provide for subsections (2) and (3) to cease to have effect on such date as may be specified in the order.
(5) Separate orders may be made under subsection (4) with respect to different areas.").
After Clause 22, insert the following new clause:
Exemption from accessibility regulations

(".—(1) The Secretary of State may make regulations ("exemption regulations") for the purpose of enabling any relevant licensing authority to apply to him for an order (an "exemption order") exempting the authority from the requirements of section (New licences conditional on compliance with accessibility regulations).
(2) Exemption regulations may, in particular, make provision requiring a licensing authority proposing to apply for an exemption order—
(a) to carry out such consultations as may be prescribed;
(b) to publish the proposal in the prescribed manner;
(c) to consider any representations made to it about the proposal, before applying for the order;
(d) to make its application in the prescribed form.

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(3) A licensing authority may apply for an exemption order only if it is satisfied—
(a) that, having regard to the circumstances prevailing in its area, it would be inappropriate for the requirements of section (New licences conditional on compliance with accessibility regulations) to apply; and
(b) that the application of section (New licences conditional on compliance with accessibility regulations) would result in an unacceptable reduction in the number of taxis in its area.
(4) After considering any application for an exemption order and consulting the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee and such other persons as he considers appropriate, the Secretary of State may—
(a) make an exemption order in the terms of the application;
(b) make an exemption order in such other terms as he considers appropriate; or
(c) refuse to make an exemption order.
(5) The Secretary of State may by regulations ("swivel seat regulations") make provision requiring any exempt taxi plying for hire in an area in respect of which an exemption order is in force to conform with provisions of the regulations as to the fitting and use of swivel seats.
(6) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision with respect to swivel seat regulations similar to that made by section (New licences conditional on compliance with accessibility regulations) with respect to accessibility regulations.
(7) In this section—
"exempt taxi" means a taxi in relation to which section (New licences conditional on compliance with accessibility regulations)(1) would apply if the exemption order were not in force;
"relevant licensing authority" means a licensing authority responsible for licensing taxis in any area of England and Wales other than the area to which the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869 applies; and
"swivel seats" has such meaning as may be prescribed.").
After Clause 22, insert the following new clause:
Carrying of passengers in wheelchairs

(".—(1) This section imposes duties on the driver of a regulated taxi which has been hired—
(a) by or for a disabled person who is in a wheelchair; or
(b) by a person who wishes such a disabled person to accompany him in the taxi.
(2) In this section—
"carry" means carry in the taxi concerned;
"the passenger" means the disabled person concerned; and
"regulated taxi" has the same meaning as in section (Accessibility regulations).
(3) The duties are—
(a) to carry the passenger while he remains in his wheelchair;
(b) not to make any additional charge for doing so;
(c) if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the wheelchair;
(d) to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and in reasonable comfort;
(e) to give such assistance as may be reasonably required—
(i) to enable the passenger to get into or out of the taxi;
(ii) if the passenger wishes to remain in his wheelchair, to enable him to be conveyed into and out of the taxi while in his wheelchair;
(iii) to load the passenger's luggage into or out of the taxi;
(iv) if the passenger does not wish to remain in his wheelchair, to load the wheelchair into or out of the taxi.
(4) Nothing in this section is to be taken to require the driver of any taxi—
(a) except in the case of a taxi of a prescribed description, to carry more than one person in a wheelchair, or more than one wheelchair, on any one journey; or

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(b) to carry any person in circumstances in which it would otherwise be lawful for him to refuse to carry that person.
(5) A driver of a regulated taxi who fails to comply with any duty imposed on him by this section is guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
(6) In any proceedings for an offence under this section, it is a defence for the accused to show that, even though at the time of the alleged offence the taxi conformed with those provisions of the accessibility regulations with which it was required to conform, it would not have been possible for the wheelchair in question to be carried in safety in the taxi.
(7) If the licensing authority is satisfied that it is appropriate to exempt a person from the duties imposed by this section—
(a) on medical grounds, or
(b) on the ground that his physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for him to comply with the duties imposed on drivers by this section,
it shall issue him with a certificate of exemption.
(8) A certificate of exemption shall be issued for such period as may be specified in the certificate.
(9) The driver of a regulated taxi is exempt from the duties imposed by this section if—
(a) a certificate of exemption issued to him under this section is in force; and
(b) the prescribed notice of his exemption is exhibited on the taxi in the prescribed manner.").
After Clause 22, insert the following new clause:
Carrying of guide dogs and hearing dogs

(".—(1) This section imposes duties on the driver of a taxi which has been hired—
(a) by or for a disabled person who is accompanied by his guide dog or hearing dog, or
(b) by a person who wishes such a person to accompany him in the taxi.
(2) The disabled person is referred to in this section as "the passenger".
(3) The duties are—
(a) to carry the passenger's dog and allow it to remain with the passenger; and
(b) not to make any additional charge for doing so.
(4) A driver of a taxi who fails to comply with any duty imposed on him by this section is guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
(5) If the licensing authority is satisfied that it is appropriate on medical grounds to exempt a person from the duties imposed by this section, it shall issue him with a certificate of exemption.
(6) In determining whether to issue a certificate of exemption, the licensing authority shall, in particular, have regard to the physical characteristics of the taxi which the applicant drives or those of any kind of taxi in relation to which he requires the certificate.
(7) A certificate of exemption shall be issued—
(a) with respect to a specified taxi or a specified kind of taxi; and
(b) for such period as may be specified in the certificate.
(8) The driver of a taxi is exempt from the duties imposed by this section if—
(a) a certificate of exemption issued to him under this section is in force with respect to the taxi; and
(b) the prescribed notice of his exemption is exhibited on the taxi in the prescribed manner.
(9) The Secretary of State may, for the purposes of this section, prescribe any other category of dog trained to assist a disabled person who has a disability of a prescribed kind.
(10) This section applies in relation to any such prescribed category of dog as it applies in relation to guide dogs.
(11) In this section—
"guide dog" means a dog which has been trained to guide a blind person; and

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"hearing dog" means a dog which has been trained to assist a deaf person.").
After Clause 22, insert the following new clause:
Forgery of exemption certificates

(".—(1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to deceive, he—
(a) forges, alters or uses an exemption document;
(b) lends an exemption document to any other person;
(c) allows an exemption document to be used by any other person;
(d) makes or has in his possession any document which closely resembles an exemption document.
(2) In subsection (1) "exemption document" means a certificate of exemption issued under section (Carrying of passengers in wheelchairs) or (Carrying of guide dogs and hearing dogs) or a notice of a kind mentioned in section (Carrying of passengers in wheelchairs)(9) (b) or (Carrying of guide dogs and hearing dogs)(8) (b).
(3) A person who is guilty of an offence under this section is liable—
(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;
(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.").
After Clause 22, insert the following new clause:
("Taxis: requirements as to disabled passengers in Scotland

.—(1) Part II of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (licensing and regulation) shall be amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (4) of section 10 (suitability of vehicle for use as taxi)—
(a) after "authority" insert "- (a)"; and
(b) at the end add "; and
(b) as not being so suitable if it does not so comply."
(3) In section 20 (regulations relating to taxis etc.) after subsection (2) insert—
"(2A) Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (1) and (2) above, regulations under those subsections may make such provision as appears to the Secretary of State to be necessary or expedient in relation to the carrying in taxis of disabled persons (within the meaning of section 1(2) of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) and such provision may in particular prescribe—
(a) requirements as to the carriage of wheelchairs, guide dogs and hearing dogs;
(b) a date from which any such provision is to apply and the extent to which it is to apply; and
(c) the circumstances in which an exemption from such provision may be granted in respect of any taxi or taxi driver,
and in this subsection—
"guide dog" means a dog which has been trained to guide a blind person; and
"hearing dog" means a dog which has been trained to assist a deaf person."").

On Question, amendments agreed to.


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