Thank you for contacting me about guide dogs.
Everyone deserves to travel with comfort and dignity. That is why I value the use of guide dogs, which give people with disabilities the freedom and confidence to work and visit friends independently. There are already, as you are aware, strict laws against the discrimination of those who rely on guide dogs.
The Equality Act 2010 makes clear the duties of all people to permit guide dogs without any hindrance to most services, premises and vehicles. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in prosecution and a fine on conviction of up to £1,000.
Guidance clarifies the rights of guide dog owners and outlines the options available to those who have been discriminated against. This includes the ability to report those who do not make reasonable adjustments to make a disabled person’s journey easier. Distinctive jackets for guide dogs to wear are available to help clearly identity them. It is also advised that any identification cards, if given, are carried by a person with disabilities to help ensure they are not discriminated against.
I am pleased that the Government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy commits to enhancing disability equality and awareness training for transport staff, which will better equip them to safely and confidently assist those with mobility challenges, including for guide dog owners.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking