A MOTHER has criticised a Halton taxi driver who she says sped off after refusing to give her wheelchair-bound daughter a lift home.
Twenty- two- year- old Rosie Rathbone was left stranded outside The Acorn day centre in Runcorn's Laburnum Grove, after an Apec taxi driver denied her access to a fully adaptable people carrier.
Contrary to company guidelines, the driver apparently ignored booking requests for a disabled hackney cab and instead angrily denied having enough room to accommodate a disabled person in a wheelchair.
Two care workers who accompanied Rosie said they have been left shocked by Saturday night's events, particularly as they were forced to make their own way back in a friend's car, to The Croft centre in Halton Village when a substitute taxi failed to arrive.
Mum-of-three, Denise Rathbone is demanding an apology for the upset caused to her daughter, who has cerebal palsey coupled with severe learning difficulties.
She said: 'I'm just amazed that this has been allowed to happen. Rosie has had to suffer discrimination all her life and I didn't expect this to happen from a taxi driver!
'All Rosie kept saying when she got home was 'I didn't like it' over and over again.
'I don't understand it as Rosie is fine to go in a people carrier, she's not restricted in her movements and is in and out of cars all the time.'
The treasurer of Apec taxis, Paul Ferfey, said he has listened to reports from staff operating on the night and is blaming conflicting stories on a simple breakdown in communications.
A spokesperson for Halton Borough Council added: 'The Council's licensing department has been made aware of this alleged incident and has sent out a complaint form.
'When we receive the completed form, an enforcement officer will look at it and conduct a thorough investigation if deemed necessary.
'Depending on the outcome of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken.'