33-stone man told he’s too heavy for taxi

Ronnie Dickson relies on taxis to get around

Ronnie Dickson relies on taxis to get around

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A MAN who weighs 33 stone has told how he burst out crying after being told he could not get in a taxi because he was too heavy.

Ronnie Dickson, 64, from Prestonfield, had booked a cab to take him to a medical appointment.

As he suffers from the skin infection cellulitis in both his legs and walks on crutches, he would normally use a disabled ramp to get into the car.

But this week, he said he was stunned to be told he couldn’t use the ramp over fears he would break it.

Today the company involved, City Cabs, said it sympathised with Mr Dickson but pointed out he had already broken a taxi ramp the previous week.

Mr Dickson, who is registered disabled, said: “It hurt inside and I burst out crying. I got myself all uptight.”

Mr Dickson’s wife Hazel, 46, a full-time carer for her husband, 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.”

Mr Dickson has been in and out of hospital due to health problems over the last three months and relies extensively on taxis.

Mrs Dickson said her husband has experienced similar problems with other taxi firms in the past.

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.”