Liverpool – A trip on a City Explorer tour bus

Last week Sheila and I decided to do what tourists do when they visit Liverpool and the day we chose (by chance) happened to coincide with the huge cruise liner Caribbean Princess calling into Liverpool.

There were unsurprisingly a lot of foreign visitors around Albert Dock when we met our City Explorer tour bus (run by Maghull Coaches) in Gower Street and they were also boarding it like us.

We went to sample the tour because our friend Phil Marshall is a qualified tour guide on this fleet of buses. Phil is a partially sighted chap from Maghull who has gained mentions before on this blog site due to issues he has encountered as a blind person. He was with his new guide dog Harvey, a lovely golden Retriever.

The tour lasted just under an hour with Phil doing the running commentary from his perch on the upstairs deck. He was as humorous and well informed as I expected him to be and clearly his words went down well with the passengers. Here’s Phil with Harvey at the end of the tour:-

The Liverpool weather was not kind to us during the tour but Phil made us all laugh and we certainly learned things we did not know about Liverpool. The trip is to be recommended.

Guide Dogs/Hearing Dogs and Taxis

I have a partially sighted friend who uses a guide dog, although he is presently awaiting a new dog as his previous one sadly died not so long ago. Phil Marshall is his name and he lives in Maghull.

I raise this subject because Phil raised it with me whilst we were having a pint in the Derby Arms in Aughton. Phil had been contacted by Guide Dogs for the Blind recently asking him to lobby his local councillors about the problem of a small minority of taxi drivers who refuse to have a guide dogs in their vehicle.

Yes I know, it sounds almost beyond belief that a taxi driver could refuse a blind, partially sighted or deaf person a ride because they have a guide/hearing dog with them but I am told that it does happen.

www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/access-all-areas/faq#.WTLg_Ma1vv8

The link above is to the Guide Dogs for the Blind web site which addresses this very issue. Locally Sefton Borough Council is the licensing authority for taxis.

I hope by sharing this issue I can help to try to put a stop to taxi refusals for blind/deaf people travelling with their dogs.