Taxi un-fare over ‘refusal’ to carry blind man’s dog

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A blind man claims he was refused a five-minute taxi ride – because he was travelling with his four-legged friend.

Simon Mahoney lost his sight two years ago – and since then has never travelled anywhere without his beloved companion dog Becky.

Simon Mahoney

Simon Mahoney

But on a first-time visit to the town, Mr Mahoney claims a driver for AGS taxis refused to drive him from St Peter’s Street to his stepson’s house in St Augustine’s Road – because the company only allowed guide dogs in cabs.

Mr Mahony, 68, was advised to walk instead. He said: “I was quite vociferous and told them that their policy stinks.But instead of making an exception, the driver started telling me which way to walk.

“I said to him, ‘I presume you’re pointing because I can’t see’.”

Mr Mahoney says the owner of nearby resturant Amici came to his rescue and called another taxi firm.

Mr Mahoney added: “Becky is my companion, friend and protector. She is my link to the outside world. I was so angry they wouldn’t allow her in the car.

“If I was a taxi driver, I would much rather have a dog in the car than a drunk person throwing up. That kind of puts it into perspective.

“I am so disappointed that my first experience of Bedford has been so negative.”

An AGS spokesman said: “We do take dogs. We have some drivers who are dog friendly. I have spoken to our controller on the night who does not remember anyone asking to take a dog.

“I will check CCTV footage.”