A senior Aberdeen councillor has said he remains opposed to a policy to eventually introduce a 100% wheelchair accessible taxi fleet.
The new policy was expected to be introduced from June next year but last week councillors unanimously agreed to delay until June 2023.
They also agreed to ask officers to prepare a report looking at options for developing a mixed fleet policy, to include both wheelchair-accessible vehicles and saloon cars.
John Reynolds convener of the local authority’s licensing committee, said he has “always been opposed” to a 100% wheelchair accessible taxi fleet.
He said: “Everybody has different needs.
“Not everyone with a disability can use a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, therefore we need to be inclusive of everyone.”
Mr Reynolds added that blind and elderly people with mobility problems can find it difficult to get up on to the steps of taller vehicles.
However, managing director of Rainbow City Taxis, Russell McLeod, previously said he thought the council had “chosen the path of least resistance” and had just “shelved it for someone else to deal with”.
Council officers had urged councillors on the committee to continue with implementation of the policy in June next year, arguing a mixed fleet could have “severe legal implications”.
They said that while some disabled people might find it “more difficult” to enter a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, it “isn’t absolutely inaccessible”.
However, councillors chose to delay the implementation and to investigate the mixed fleet option.
Mr Reynolds said: “We can’t change the policy until we come up with all the facts and figures to have a good case.
“We will be looking at ways of coming away from 100% wheelchair accessible vehicles.
“What we’ve come forward with is a good balance.”