Taxi and private hire drivers could face a fine of up to £1,000 and lose their taxi licences if they refuse to transport wheelchair users or charge them extra.
New rules apply in England, Wales and Scotland affecting those taxis and private hire vehicles which are designated as wheelchair accessible.
The new law came into force nationally on April 6 as part of provisions being enacted from the Equality Act.
Drivers will be obliged by the law to transport wheelchair users in their wheelchair, provide them with appropriate assistance, and charge them the same as non-wheelchair users.
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Cllr Nick Peel, said: “The change in the law should enable wheelchair users to travel with confidence.
“We also want drivers of wheelchair accessible vehicles to be clear about the duties and responsibilities placed on them.
“If a driver breached their duties we would investigate and take appropriate action. If a passenger feels they have been discriminated against then we would encourage them to get in touch with our licensing team.
“In Bolton all our hackney carriage vehicles are wheelchair accessible and a number of private hire vehicles are also wheelchair accessible.”
For more information, contact the licensing team on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01204 336584.
Drivers with wheelchair accessible vehicles but who are unable to provide assistance for medical reasons can apply to the council for an exemption from the new requirements.