Taxi driver loses licence after refusing to pick up a blind passenger and guide dog

A taxi driver who was fined by magistrates for failing to pick up a customer has had his licence revoked following a review by Nottingham City Council.

The incident occurred on June 24 last year when Mohammed Saghir, 59, of Sneinton Boulevard, drove out to a pub near Trent Bridge to take home passenger, Mark Whittle and his wife Catherine, who is partially-sighted.

Mr and Mrs Whittle had taken part in the Great Notts Bike Ride on a tandem and had finished a meal when they ordered a taxi home.

Mr Saghir arrived at the location and sent a text to confirm that he was outside. But when the couple exited the pub with their guide dog, he drove off.

It was only when a passerby asked Mr and Mrs Whittle if they were waiting for a taxi, that they were told it was already driving away.

Mr Whittle said: “I was really angry about what happened. We’d gone outside and it was only when a member of the public approached to ask if we were waiting for a taxi – and told us it was driving away – that we realised the driver had left.

“I called the cab firm and they got the driver on the phone but despite them saying to him that he had to take us, he was adamant that he wouldn’t have the dog in his car.”

Mr Whittle rang the City Council to complain and an investigation was launched. Mr Saghir pleaded guilty to refusing to pick up a fare.

He was fined £210 with a £30 victim surcharge and £236.17 costsw when he appeared at derby Justice Centre in December. After a review by Nottingham City Council, his licence has now been revoked.

Mr Whittle said: “I’m sorry that he’s lost his licence because that’s his livelihood, but he’s only got himself to blame. When he signed up to become a taxi driver, he should know the rules and regulations – in this case, he can’t refuse to accept an assistance dog.

“It makes you worry what could happen if it was a young girl with a guide dog waiting for a taxi, which turned up only to drive off. I’m keen to raise awareness of this because I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

Mr Saghir will need to reapply for a licence in the future and be able to demonstrate that he is fit and proper to return to taxi driving.