A campaigner for blind people believes some taxi firms in Kirklees are flouting laws over allowing guide dogs in cabs.
David Quarmby, 65, chairman of Kirklees Visually Impaired Network, said that by law taxi drivers could not refuse to take guide dogs.
Retired probation officer Mr Quarmby, of Newsome, said that some taxi firms would question passengers when told there was a guide dog – and may send a minibus instead of a car.
As a result blind passengers, often travelling with family and friends, would face extra delays.
Since 2003, when amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act came into force, hackney carriage and private hire drivers have been banned from refusing to carry blind people simply because they are accompanied by their dog.
The only exemption is if the driver has a medical condition, and that would require a certification of exemption.
Mr Quarmby said: “It is nothing short of discrimination and it is just the hassle and unpleasantness of it all.
“People with guide dogs should be treated like everyone else.”
Mr Quarmby said that when he and guide dog Mick travel by taxi Mick sits on the floor, not on the seats.
“There is no excuse for drivers not to take guide dogs but some drivers refuse to take them in normal cars and force passengers to wait for minibuses instead.
“It’s a prejudice that is being built up and it affects family relationships because it can be so frustrating.”
Mr Quarmby says he had to wait up to an hour for a minibus from one Huddersfield firm on Christmas Day and last month another firm sent a driver who refused to take him because he was “frightened” of dogs. Though working in Huddersfield, the driver was licensed by Rossendale Council in Lancashire, and Mr Quarmby reported him. It is believed he is no longer working for the firm.
Mr Quarmby had to wait 15 minutes for a replacement taxi and was given a free ride home.
A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “Drivers of licensed taxis are legally bound to carry, free of charge, any guide, hearing and other assistance dogs travelling with a disabled person.
“A driver who refuses to carry an assistance dog, or makes a charge for carrying it, is guilty of an offence and could be fined up to £1,000 unless he or she has an exemption.
“A driver of taxis or private hire vehicles who can prove to us as the licensing authority that they have a medical condition, such as severe asthma, which is aggravated by contact with dogs may apply for an exemption, and would then display a Notice of Exemption on the windscreen or dashboard of their vehicle.
“Currently, only one of our licensed drivers in Kirklees has such an exemption.
“In Kirklees, before being issued with a ‘badge’ to drive licensed vehicles, all applicants are required to attend a driver training course where we really stress the responsibilities around assistance dogs.”