Licensed Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs)


Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 virus, the council has reviewed its licensing processes, specifically all Hackney and private hire licence applications as well as renewals. As of 5pm on Thursday 19 March 2020, there will no longer be access to a Licensing Counter Service. If you need to renew your driver licence or get or renew or change a vehicle on a licence, then please do this online. Download and complete the correct form, then follow the steps shown. If you do this in advance of the licence expiry, all existing licensees will able to be re-licensed. Licensing staff will be sending reminders out earlier than normal and posting out DBS application forms, medical forms etc where required, so applicants can complete them before they submit their forms and mandatory documents.

List made under the provisions of s.165 The Equality Act 2010

Knowsley MBC, in accordance with its’ public sector Equality Duties, has adopted, and now publishes periodically, a list of “Designated Vehicles” under the S.165 provisions.

All vehicles on this list are wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV’s) and may be licensed hackney carriages or licensed private hire vehicles. Before publishing this list all of the owners of the vehicles were informed that their vehicle was to be included. To date no owner has appealed against their vehicle’s inclusion on the List.

This means that if a driver of such a vehicle refuses, without good reason, to transport a prospective hirer using a wheelchair then, unless the driver has obtained and is displaying an exemption certificate the driver would commit an offence for which they could be cautioned and prosecuted. In addition their licence could be referred to a Chairperson’s Hearing for possible disciplinary sanction.

Notes for passengers with disabilities

All Hackney carriage vehicles licensed in Knowsley have access for wheelchairs. They have a ramp or set of parallel ramps to enable access for wheelchairs into the vehicle. The wheelchair must be shackled to the bulkhead using the two restraining straps and the seatbelt extension belt (if standard) should then be used for the passenger.

This means that most passengers will be rearward facing (with the exception of the new London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) TX black cab hybrid electric vehicle which has the wheelchair facing the front of the vehicle).

Passengers in wheelchairs must not be carried sideways, secured or unsecured, in WAV Hackney Carriage or WAV Private Hire Vehicles.
If it is not possible for an electric wheelchair or scooter to be carried safely in a hackney carriage then specialist companies may need to be contacted by the prospective hirer.

A driver cannot and must not exceed the safe loading weight of the ramps

  • The legal weight loading limit is 300kg =47.24 stone which includes driver and wheelchair = total weight on ramp
  • All drivers should be doing a risk assessment to make sure customers and indeed driver are safe

Knowsley MBC’s Designated Vehicle List shows all licensed vehicles which are able to carry the Department of Transport (DFT) designated "reference wheelchair" (a set of dimensions which the DFT have published on their website). 

Some Hackney Carriage Vehicles do not work via a radio system or Private Hire Operator and the list shows “none recorded” for these. All other vehicles show an Operator name and those operators can be contacted to obtain the services of a suitable vehicle.

All Private Hire Vehicles must work through a Knowsley MBC-licensed Private Hire Operator and again the List gives the name of any recorded Operator. 

Notes for drivers of “Designated List” vehicles

  • If driving Hackney Carriage then the hackney carriage meter must not be started by the driver until the passenger in a wheelchair is safely and correctly secured in the vehicle
  • The hackney carriage meter must be “stopped” before unsecuring the passenger at the end of the journey
  • Private Hire Vehicles, Drivers and Operators are not allowed to charge more for the carriage of a wheelchair using passenger than they would for carrying an ambulant or able-bodied passenger
  • If you are not capable of assisting such wheelchair-using passengers to enter and alight then you must download the Exemption Application from the link above and take it to your own Registered G.P’s Surgery. Any cost associated with the application is your responsibility.

Loading of wheelchairs into a “Designated List Vehicle”

The following example video shows a manual wheelchair being correctly and safely loaded and secured in a WAV hackney carriage vehicle.

Loading a Manual Wheelchair

The following example video shows an electric powered wheelchair being correctly and safely loaded and secured in a WAV hackney carriage vehicle.

Loading an Electric Wheelchair