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Wheelchair VS buggy on a bus

chronicallyjaschronicallyjas Member Posts: 1 Listener

I just got declined entrance onto a bus by a first bus driver. The reason was a pram. Which wasn’t even in use. The woman had her children on her lap but the pram was in the wheelchair space and the driver refused to even ask her to move. He drove off whilst I was talking to him. I have never felt more degraded or victimised because of my disability. My wheelchair is something I’ve only just felt safe and comfortable in. I’m humiliated. I told him about the fact I had a right to the space and he just ignored that I was speaking like I was nothing.


I posted this on my Twitter 2 days ago and have received over 300 likes and 140 retweets. I never realised that this was a regular occurrence. In the last few days I have spoken to Doug Pauley who took first to the Supreme Court in 2017 and won. I wish to bring forward a similar case as it is obvious nothing has changed since his victory. Please let me know your opinions on what happened and if any of you have advice or contacts that could help me with my case I would really appreciate you getting in touch. 

Thanks Jasmine

Replies

  • Matt_ScopeMatt_Scope Scope Navigate service Posts: 56 Pioneering
    Hi @chronicallyjas This case has been fought a few times in the courts in recent years.  I think the most update ruling aimed to ensure that wheelchairs have priority for a space where this is possible and locally to me the situation has improved.  However the reality is that it is very hard to do anything about this situation at the time it is happening if the driver is not willing to influence the situation.  If I was you I would call this particular bus provider and ask them what there position is on this.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2019
    Hi @chronicallyjas and a very warm welcome to the community! Unfortunately this is not uncommon. Technically a wheelchair has priority though.

    I hope other members will be able to share their experiences and advice with you.

    If there is anything we can do to help then please do let us know! :)
    Scope

  • MisscleoMisscleo Member Posts: 646 Pioneering
    Been fighting Disability Hate Crime all my life.
    A while ago I shouted at a 1st bus driver cos he wouldn't move a pram.took the drivers photo that woke him up.
    He said I'd broken the lawt taking his photo, I told him going to put you on the net for committing hate crime. He toldthat women to fold her pram down or get off. She folded it.
    I'd advise any disabled person to take the bus drivers photo.
    Iv had loads of surport from people on buses.and putting drivers photo on bus site works
    It's up to disabled people to surport each other 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Misscleo said:
    Been fighting Disability Hate Crime all my life.
    A while ago I shouted at a 1st bus driver cos he wouldn't move a pram.took the drivers photo that woke him up.
    He said I'd broken the lawt taking his photo, I told him going to put you on the net for committing hate crime. He toldthat women to fold her pram down or get off. She folded it.
    I'd advise any disabled person to take the bus drivers photo.
    Iv had loads of surport from people on buses.and putting drivers photo on bus site works
    It's up to disabled people to surport each other 
    What she said! 
  • Silver925Silver925 Member Posts: 87 Courageous
    The usual policy is Wheelchairs take priority over prams and buggys. The driver should give the woman the choice of getting the next bus or folding the pram or trolley. Wheelchairs always take priority or should. Most drivers will say this. Strange I saw this very same situation today the driver told the woman to get of the bus or folding trolly which she did with no hesitation.
  • david235david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering

    In the last few days I have spoken to Doug Pauley who took first to the Supreme Court in 2017 and won. I wish to bring forward a similar case as it is obvious nothing has changed since his victory.
    From a legal perspective, the principle is clear. FirstGroup plc v Paulley [2017] UKSC 4 is still good law and binds every court in the land other than the Supreme Court, which would ordinarily not depart from its earlier decision. The idea is that the appeal courts set a principle which is stuck to, rather than repeatedly rehearing cases on the same facts.

    Unfortunately, all Paulley requires is that the driver requests that the space is vacated for the wheelchair user. If the person or people responsible for taking the space takes the view that the driver's request is unreasonable and either do not respond or refuse to move, arguably the driver has done all required of him or her. Sadly, we live in a society where there are a proportion of people who act as if they are entitled to do as they please, no matter how much their behaviour affects others.


    Drivers are in something of an impossible situation, in that they do not want to antagonise passengers already on the bus who may well simply ignore or reject a request to vacate the space, but they nevertheless have this obligation to facilitate wheelchair users travelling. Arguably the correct answer is that the wheelchair space has become a victim of its own success - the demand for space is so great that one space is not enough. However, we are in the position we are in.

    If this happens in the future, record details of the bus and complain to the bus company that the driver broke the law by not asking for the wheelchair space to be vacated.


    I'm sorry you had to face this @chronicallyjas - this sort of everyday discrimination and failure of society to understand makes life much more challenging than it needs to be.
  • MisscleoMisscleo Member Posts: 646 Pioneering
    If known drivers say fold it down/get off 
    Next comes im not moving the bus till your out of the wheelchair users way
    Nearly everybody on the bus agree with not moving the bus.
    Cos pram pushers think their ride is the only one that matters they dont want to.wait so fold or get off.
    There usually a lot of abuse to the wheelchair user and alot of remarks said to the pram pusher from us but when they know the bus isnt moving they do fold or get off
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @chronicallyjas, how are you doing? :)
    Scope

  • HarpHarp Member Posts: 76 Pioneering
    Where do assistance dogs come into the verse?

    Some of the dogs could fit under the sits but some are too big and they can't lyr in the alsie
    ANNE ROBINSON (1 VOICE)
    https://www.facebook.com/1Voice.Vision.of.the.heart/
    Everyone has the right to have a say in what ever method they use



  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    I also feel strongly that a wheelchair user should have priority.
    It happened to me once...an elderly lady had put her shopping trolley in the wheelchair space. The driver told her to move it...She put it on her feet.

    I felt bad and all the other passengers were looking at me.

    I dont use buses anymore
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,355 Disability Gamechanger
    As a disabled person and may have my driving license taken away as up for the tree year renewal I enquired about small mobility scooter abilities to use buses. The company said as long as it’s under the prescribed weight it was ok. Then I asked about buggies taking the space for a disabled person.  The driver can ask them to move their buggy and that’s it if they refuse then catch the next bus. On doing so miss your appointment as this could happen every journey. I have now bought a folding wheel chair and have a bus pass with champion. Hopefully I will not have my license revoked as I now drive an automatic very light steering an ex mobility car serviced oil change and filter each year, four years old 9000 miles diesel 60 plus to the gallon.
  • Jean EveleighJean Eveleigh Member Posts: 134 Pioneering
    This is the First bus wheelchair policy:-

    When a wheelchair user needs to use the wheelchair space

    Of course, wheelchair users have priority over everyone else for the use of the designated wheelchair space, since this is the only place in which they can travel safely. Non-wheelchair users, unlike wheelchair users, will normally have a choice about which part of the bus to sit or stand in.

    Common decency and respect for wheelchair users should mean that other passengers make way for them. Passengers are urged to offer cooperation in allowing proper use of the designated wheelchair area.

    If the wheelchair space is occupied with a buggy, standing passengers or otherwise full, and there is space elsewhere in the vehicle, the driver will ask that it is made free for a wheelchair user. Where a pushchair or buggy is occupying the space, the driver will ask that it is repositioned, moved to another part of the bus or folded and stored in the luggage space, where available.

    If passengers do not respond to such a request, without good reason, and the bus is not full, the driver will advise passengers that they are required to move from the wheelchair space.  The driver will consider other action such as not setting off from the stop until the situation is resolved.

    https://www.firstgroup.com/bus-accessibility

    So I suggest your first port of call is to complain to First Bus using the form at the bottom of the page here - https://www.firstgroup.com/help-and-support

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for sharing this @Jean Eveleigh :)
    Scope

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