No one with a guide dog should be refused access to businesses or services because they have a guide dog and everyone deserves to travel with comfort and dignity.
Guide dogs give people with disabilities the freedom and confidence to work, travel and visit friends independently. As you are aware, there are already strict laws against the discrimination of those who rely on guide dogs.
The Equality Act 2010 clarifies the duties of all people to permit guide dogs without any hindrance to most services, premises and vehicles. Failure to comply can result in prosecution and a fine on conviction of up to £1,000.
The use of guide dogs is supported by guidance on the rights of guide dog owners, including the ability to report those who do not make reasonable adjustments to make a disabled person’s journey easier. Distinctive jackets for guide dogs to wear are available to help clearly identity them. It is also advised that any identification cards, if provided, are carried by a person with disabilities to help ensure they are not discriminated against.
The Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Act 2022, which came into force in June 2022, provides specific protections for disabled people. This includes new duties on taxi and private hire vehicle drivers to carry any disabled person and their mobility aids, to provide reasonable mobility assistance, and to support them in identifying a booked vehicle, without extra charges.