Taxi firm tells disabled man “you’re too fat to use our cabs”

Ronnie Dickson was told he was too heavy to get in the taxi

A CAB firm reduced a disabled man to tears by telling him he was too fat to get in their vehicle.

Ronnie Dickson weights 33 stone and suffers from a cellulitis, a skin condition that affects both his legs.

The painful medical condition means he is only able to walk with the help of two crutches and needs to use a disabled ramp to get into taxis.

His failing health means the 64-year-old has been travelling to hospital repeatedly over the last few months and is reliant on the service.

But Edinburgh-based City Cabs have refused to let him travel in one of their taxis, as he could break the vehicle’s ramp.
They said that they sympathised with Mr Dickson, but said the pensioner had broken a ramp on one of their cars just a week before.

Mr Dickson had called on the firm to take him to a doctor’s appointment but was shocked to be told he was too heavy to travel.

He said: “It hurt inside and I burst out crying. I got myself all uptight.”


His wife and carer, Hazel Dickson, 46, said: “My husband needs to use the ramp to get into a taxi on his crutches, but on Wednesday the driver said he couldn’t.

“Ronnie came back into the house and he was actually crying, he was very upset and I was angry.”

She added her husband had had similar problems with other taxi firms in the past.

City Cabs said they stood by their decision on the day. Company secretary Les McVay said: Company secretary of City Cabs, Les McVay, said: “Mr Dickson has been a customer with City Cabs for almost a year. In the past, Mr Dickson has been able to gain access to the taxi with the assistance from the driver.

“Unfortunately, Mr Dickson’s mobility recently has deteriorated and a combination of his weight and the inability to bend his knees has meant that he has recently started requesting the use of the wheelchair ramp to gain access to the taxi.

“The wheelchair ramp is designed to take a load in excess of 33 stone, but spread over the whole ramp. If Mr Dickson was in a wheelchair, then City Cabs could continue to provide a service. Mr Dickson damaged a ramp last week. The vehicle was off the road and the driver had to meet the repair bill at his own expense.”

He added: “City Cabs fully recognise and are fully committed to all of our disabled customers.

“Obviously this incident has caused Mr Dickson some distress and that is regrettable, but due to his failing health, the inability to bend his knees and his weight, he can no longer safely gain access to a normal taxi. He requires specialised help and a specialised vehicle.”