'Taxi for all' is improving independence for Darlington residents
RESIDENTS in Darlington can now book a wheelchair accessible taxi giving greater independence to those who have previously been isolated through disability or frailty.
The DAD’s Taxi service launched in January with very high standards in terms of both the vehicle and its drivers. A lot of research was done by disabled people to find a vehicle that met most people’s needs. As a result the chosen taxi is a smart new vehicle which can take up to 5 passengers, one being seated in their wheelchair. The rear ramp allows the wheelchair to be wheeled straight into the rear door of the taxi then securely fastened to the vehicle which means all passengers can enter and leave the taxi with ease. The service is accessible to all, so it will operate as any other taxi does meeting the needs of all customers.
DAD’s Taxi’s highly skilled drivers are required to undertake thorough training in customer service with a particular emphasis on treating customers with dignity and respect. The drivers undergo Disability Equality Training designed around taxi services and Wheelchair Awareness Training.
They have already helped many customers with over 1400 of journeys in the first six months.
The social enterprise was established by DAD (Darlington Association on Disability) and supported by Local Motion as part of a project funded by the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and the Local Environment commented “The new accessible taxi has been a welcome improvement for residents who have previously had difficulty getting out and about. The service fills a gap which has been evident for many residents of the borough and means that families and groups of friends can now travel together in comfort.”
The service launched with one vehicle and there are hopes to expand to more vehicles as the service becomes more successful.
An informative film has been produced in collaboration to showcase the benefits of the DAD’s taxi service using actual users of the service. To find out more about the DAD’s Taxi visit http://www.darlingtondisability.org/taxi/taxi.html and view the film visit http://www.dothelocalmotion.co.uk/dads-taxi
To book the DAD’s Taxi call/text 07710 158077 or call 01325 251044.