AWARD-WINNING actor Ruth Madeley has described how a London taxi driver took her wheelchair as “ransom” over a row over his fare.

Ruth, 33, from Westhoughton, highlighted the incident, which happened on the same day that she was announced as the star of a new BBC drama about disabled rights.

She said: “A taxi driver refused to drop me off at Euston Station’s accessible entrance as the traffic was heavy and it would be ‘too difficult’ for him to drive round. He instead insisted that I use the inaccessible entrance, as he had seen me stand and so ‘knew I could walk’.

“When I told him that I can’t manage stairs, he proceeded to tell me that it was my problem not his. As if this wasn’t traumatic enough, he demanded his fare even though the journey had been prepaid.

“When I tried explaining this on the street, he became very agitated and in sheer frustration he took my wheelchair from behind me without warning and carried it away to put in the boot of his taxi, leaving me on the side of the road.”

Ruth, who was born with spina bifida, added that her mum, who was travelling with her, was forced to “grab” the chair despite the taxi driver trying to stop her.

The actor, who was nominated for a BAFTA in 2016 and can currently be seen in BBC drama The Watch, said her efforts to report the matter to the police had been hampered by her call not being logged.

“I was shut down and made to feel as though I was making a fuss over nothing,” she said.

“Ultimately, after more fighting and asking for support, the police told me that nothing can be done. No warning to the taxi driver or the firm, no accountability, no consequences.

“This kind of (thing) is happening to disabled people every single day and it is clear proof that the fight for disability rights is far from over.”

Last month Ruth announced she is to appear as cabaret performer Barbara Lisicki in Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won which is based on the true story of the people behind a campaign of direct action that lead to significant steps forward in the battle for disabled civil rights in Britain

Graham Robinson, Transport for London’s general manager for Taxi and Private Hire, said: “This sounds like an utterly appalling incident. We have contacted Ruth for more details so we can carry out a full and urgent investigation.”