THREE city taxi firms refused to pick up a disabled and partially sighted woman in Worcester city centre because she had her guide dog with her, it has been claimed.

Michelle Rasdall, owner of Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, said the loyal customer came in to their shop in floods of tears because she couldn't get home on Thursday afternoon.

"She was distraught and very distressed," Mrs Rasdall said.

"She had been in town for a couple of hours. She had been to the Armistice Day service to remember her brother.

"Two taxis had turned up, and not wanted to take her home.

"The third black cab turned up and when they saw her guide dog, said it is against our policy to take guide dogs.

"She challenged them that time, saying it is against the law. They just said 'it is against our policies'."

Under the Equality Act guide dog owners have the right to enter the majority of services, premises and vehicles - including taxis - with their dog.

Right of entry laws also apply to all registered and trained assistance dogs like those which help with mobility, hearing and medical detection.

Mrs Randall added: "She is a regular customer, and we wanted to support her.

"I walked her down to The Cross and spoke with the taxi drivers and found one that would take her home to Kempsey.

"With going to the Armistice service it had been a traumatic enough day for her, she deserved to have her dignity.

"We are hoping this is an isolated incident. I just find it very sad something like this can happen.

"We support disabled customers, our sweets can be read in braille, we support them."

Mark Rasdall, the co-owner of the shop, added: "One of our loyal customers, who is disabled and partially-sighted, distraught seeking refuge in our shop. Taxi firms in Worcester were refusing to take her home.

"How can this be allowed in Britain in 2021?"

Taxi drivers who have been caught elsewhere refusing to take people with a guide dog have been fined, and some have even lost their licence.

Worcester Taxi Drivers Association was contacted for comment but no one responded before our deadline.