In researching my own trip to Gibraltar, my greatest concern was finding a way to get to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar. I discovered that the city does offer wheelchair accessible taxis, but they are not like the black cabs or ramped vans you’ll find in a city like London. My adapted taxi vehicle instead looked like this:
The problem with Gibraltar’s accessible vans, like the one pictured above, is that they are not truly accessible. At least, not for everyone.
I traveled to Gibraltar with my six-wheeled power wheelchair, the Quantum Q6 Edge. Although the taxi van included ramps to aid in rear entry, they are designed for manual wheelchairs – not power chairs, which have a much lower ground clearance.
Each time I entered and exited this taxi, the undercarriage of my wheelchair would catch on the ramps. My taxi driver was a true gentleman, and assisted me each time in pulling the chair down or pushing it up. But, this was hard work, and overcoming this barrier may not be possible for all powered wheelchairs.
Another issue with this taxi was the space in the rear of the van. My power wheelchair was only able to fit because the footrests were folded up. I don’t have legs, and never use a footrest, so this was possible for me. But I would venture to say that nearly every wheelchair user still possesses their legs and feet. As such, a power wheelchair like mine, with the footrests extended, would not fit.
If I were to visit Gibraltar again, I think I would instead use a manual wheelchair on a trip in one of these taxis. Either that, or a lightweight, foldable power wheelchair. I have seen some great foldable power wheelchairs designed for travel at the Abilities Expo. This could be a solution.
If you think one of these wheelchair taxis will be suited to your needs, you can book one by contacting the Gibraltar Taxi Association. Reservations must be made in advance for accessible cabs, as they are often booked by cruise travelers in port. There are only two of these handicap-accessible vans, so book early! Contact information is available below:
Gibraltar Taxi Association
+350 200 70052
Bookings for the accessible Rock of Gibraltar should be made via e-mail. The rates for that tour are as follows:
First hour: £90
Additional hour: £60
Minimum: Two hours or £150
For more information on the accessible rock tour, read the article on wheelchair accessible things to do in Gibraltar.