This Bill was read a third time and passed on Friday 18 March and will now proceed to the House of Lords for consideration.
The Bill introduced by Jeremy Wright, is the Conservative MP for Kenilworth and Southam, proposes to address inconsistencies in the Equality Act to ensure all disabled people are afforded protection from discrimination.
Mr Wright said during the debate:
"It is no easy task to create legislation that is intended for millions of people. The Equality Act 2010 made very significant progress in very many areas, but it was not perfect, and I do not suppose that anybody involved in its drafting or implementation would claim as much. We as legislators should always be prepared to look again at our work and consider whether it can be improved on. At present, the taxi and private hire vehicle sections of that Act do not work well enough for all the 13.7 million disabled people in Great Britain.
"The fundamental intention of the Bill is to ensure the protections envisaged in that Act work effectively and comprehensively when a disabled person uses a taxi or a private hire vehicle, so that any disabled person has reasonable rights and protections enabling them to book, access and travel in a taxi or private hire vehicle at no additional charge.
"As it stands, only wheelchair and assistance dog users have specific rights and protections under the Equality Act in relation to taxis and private hire vehicles. The existing Equality Act taxi and private hire vehicle measures do not, for example, provide clearly expressed rights for a wheelchair user intending to transfer from their wheelchair into the passenger seat of a non-designated taxi or private hire vehicle. They do not provide a visually impaired person with a right to guaranteed assistance to find and locate a booked private hire vehicle. Indeed, current measures fail to sufficiently protect disabled people who do not use wheelchairs or assistance dogs from discriminatory treatment at all."