• Wakefield wheelchair user refused space on bus

    A wheelchair user was refused space on a bus because a pushchair was on board, days after the Supreme Court ruled on the issue.

    Kirsty Shepherd, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, said the Arriva driver told her she could not get on, even though there was enough room.

    It came five days after the Supreme Court said bus drivers must be more accommodating to wheelchair users.

    Arriva Buses said it was investigating “as a matter of urgency”.

    Ms Shepherd said the woman with the pushchair on the Rothwell to Wakefield bus was happy to move, but the driver still would not let her on.

    ‘No legal power’

    In the case that went to the Supreme Court, wheelchair user Doug Paulley took action against First Bus after he was refused entry to a bus in 2012 when a mother with a pushchair refused to move.

    The bus had a sign saying: “Please give up this space if needed for a wheelchair user.”

    The court found the company should do more to persuade non-wheelchair users to move from the wheelchair space, but did not have the legal power to remove them.

    ‘Just not fair’

    Ms Shepherd said the Arriva driver told the passengers to get off, saying it was her fault the journey could not go on.

    “He leant forward and said ‘I can’t let you on love, I’ve got a pushchair on’,” she said.

    “I said ‘well please ask her to move’. He said ‘I can’t do that’.

    “The people on the bus started shouting saying ‘just get the next bus, we’ve got homes to get to’.”

    She said she spoke to the bus driver’s manager, but he was still not willing to let her on board.

    “He let the passengers get off and have a go at me… it was just not fair.”

    Arriva said: “Our customer service team have had extensive conversations with Ms Shepherd about the incident and we are investigating this as a matter of urgency.

    “We are in the process of downloading the CCTV footage and speaking to those involved.

    “We have promised to conclude this investigation swiftly.”

    To read more visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-38795688

    Kathryn Hodgson

    Kathryn Hodgson

    Hi I'm Kathryn Hodgson, Digital Marketing Executive at DisabledGo.com and I will be uploading blogs and news for you all to read.

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    • It is bad enough for a wheelchair user to be denied lawful access to bus transport, but when they orchestrate others to lay blame on the wheelchair user, when in fact both the Arriva driver and the manager were acting unlawfully, this makes the matter even worse.

      These situations will, appear to, continue to arise until legal action is taken citing the transport provider, transport driver and others.

      If the current legislation is not supporting this action, then it is not ‘fit for purpose’ and needs to be changed accordingly.

    • Paul Horsfield

      Can’t say I’m surprised at this happening, the bus companies won’t change anything unless forced to by law and will use any excuse to make things easy for themselves. This driver and his manager should be taken to court for disability discrimination as they obviously had no intention of allowing the wheelchair user to travel even though there was no issue from the buggy owner.