Wheelchair user Joshua Gardner from Leeds films moment Uber driver refuses to take him

  • Joshua Gardner, 20, from Leeds uses the taxi service three times a day 
  • Freelance journalist was on his way to meet friends at a pub to the football
  • He said the Uber driver refused to pick him up when he saw him in a wheelchair 
  • A spokesman for Uber said the company was investigating the allegations 

By Anthony Joseph for MailOnline

Published: 10:12 EST, 11 January 2017 | Updated: 10:56 EST, 11 January 2017

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 A wheelchair user has spoken of his disgust at being left at the side of the road after an Uber driver refused to take him.

Joshua Gardner, from Leeds, who uses the taxi service three times a day, was on his way to meet friends at a pub to watch the FA Cup tie between Cambridge United and Leeds United.

According to the freelance journalist, the Uber driver arrived to pick him up, then refused when he saw he was in a wheelchair. 

Joshua Gardner, from Leeds, who uses the taxi service three times a day, was on his way to meet friends at a pub to watch the FA Cup tie between Cambridge United and Leeds United Joshua Gardner, from Leeds, who uses the taxi service three times a day, was on his way to meet friends at a pub to watch the FA Cup tie between Cambridge United and Leeds United
Joshua Gardner, from Leeds, who uses the taxi service three times a day, was on his way to meet friends at a pub to watch the FA Cup tie between Cambridge United and Leeds United Joshua Gardner, from Leeds, who uses the taxi service three times a day, was on his way to meet friends at a pub to watch the FA Cup tie between Cambridge United and Leeds United

Joshua Gardner, from Leeds, who uses the taxi service three times a day, was on his way to meet friends at a pub to watch the FA Cup tie between Cambridge United and Leeds United

The 20-year-old said the man told him 'disabled people need disabled car', before driving off. 

Mr Gardner was horrified at the way he was treated and managed to film the end of the incident on his phone, which shows the driver leaving.

He said: 'Ordering a taxi when you have a lightweight foldable wheelchair is plain and simple.

'It will always fit in a car somewhere either in the boot or on the seat of a car. Also ordering a taxi in the UK when you're human is plan and simple; it's against UK law to refuse a customer because of their disability, race, sex, age or sexuality.

'Uber broke this law when one of their drivers drove off and left me at the side of the road on Monday night in Leeds. This should never happen.'

Mr Gardner has been confined to a wheelchair after falling ill from Transverse Myelitis - a muscle weakness in the legs - in 2005.

He managed to capture the driver leaving him at the side of the road on video and posted the footage on social media.

The post has been viewed thousands of times and received hundreds of comments of support for Mr Gardner.

He said: 'This Uber driver is one of many taxis drivers who have refused me over the years and not only me but many of my friends who have disabilities.

'Its not just a problem with Uber, it's a problem UK wide. Don't get me wrong 95% of taxi drivers in the UK would be more than happy to help when it comes to offering assistance to passengers with disabilities, a parent with a pushchair or a customer with a trolley full of shopping. 

'But it's that five per cent of drivers who wouldn't help or would just refuse to take the job altogether.

'In my opinion there needs to be tougher regulations for taxi companies when it comes to giving someone the green light to be a driver; and more required training for all driver on equality. For me that is the only way things will change.'

Mr Gardner has been confined to a wheelchair after falling ill from Transverse Myelitis in 2005 Mr Gardner has been confined to a wheelchair after falling ill from Transverse Myelitis in 2005

Mr Gardner has been confined to a wheelchair after falling ill from Transverse Myelitis in 2005

An Uber spokesman said: 'Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination from riders or licensed drivers who use the app. We take any allegations of discriminatory behaviour very seriously.

'We're currently investigating this incident and it is our policy to prevent the partner-driver from using our app until the investigation is concluded.'

They also said that UberAssist, specifically aimed at disabled people and those with access needs, is operational in Leeds. 

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