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Old 29-02-2008, 11:55 AM   #1
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Disabled girl turned away by bus driver

i came across this article on the website of my local newspaper. it has sparked quite a heavy debate on there, it took me an hour and a half of reading to get through all of the individual comments. judging by the comments, i think everyone would agree that if a wheelchair user boards a bus and the space is occupied by able bodied people then the space provided for them should be relinquished. but there is a lot of other aspects to this that may need to be considered. anyone care to comment?



Disabled girl turned away by bus driver


By GARETH EDWARDS


<!--google_ad_section_start--><!-- Article Start -->A MOTHER who was told there was no room on the bus for her disabled daughter has hit out at operator Lothian Buses.

Fiona Pickup was furious when she could not take her five-year-old daughter Emma Dobbin on the bus, because there was a child's buggy in the wheelchair space.

Ms Pickup, 27, now plans to raise the issue with the Scottish Parliament, saying there should be clearer rules about wheelchair access on buses.

Emma suffers from cerebral palsy and has been in a wheelchair for two years. The space on the 22 bus is designated for wheelchair use, but is often used by parents with children in buggies.

Ms Pickup, of Leith, said when she tried to board the bus from Ocean Terminal on Saturday there was a woman with a buggy taking up the wheelchair space. She claimed the driver did not ask the woman to fold up the pushchair, but simply said she would have to wait for the next bus.

The helpdesk consultant said when she phoned to complain she was told the driver was not able to move people from the space.

She now plans to write to the First Minister asking for the issue to be looked at.

"I was just so angry with the bus driver because of his attitude," she said. "I thought these spaces were meant to be for wheelchair users, and I can't see why the woman couldn't fold up the buggy so my daughter could get on the bus.

"All I keep thinking about is what if my daughter was an adult and travelling on her own and the bus driver told her she wasn't getting on. If it was the last bus home would he have left her sitting there on her own?"

A spokesman for Lothian Buses said they had not received any complaint, but insisted its drivers were instructed to accommodate both wheelchair and pushchair users wherever possible.

"Drivers will allow wheelchair users to board a bus if there is an unoccupied wheelchair space and in doing so the maximum seating or standing capacity is not exceeded," he said. "If the space is occupied, it can only be vacated if there is available capacity, or if a buggy can be folded easily and space is available for its storage and the safe passage of its occupant."

He added that such incidents highlighted the need for passengers to co-operate with drivers to make wheelchair space available.

This is an issue being raised by disabled rights charity Ecas.

Sam Condry, research and campaigning officer at Ecas, said: "There should always be ample space on buses for pushchairs and wheelchairs. If there is room on the bus, priority wheelchair spaces should be vacated for those in wheelchairs."





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Old 29-02-2008, 03:05 PM   #2
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On the buses here at least the buggy space and the wheelchair space is the sxame thing so its like whichever person gets on first gets those seats.




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Old 29-02-2008, 03:11 PM   #3
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There were the days in those old buses where you had to fold pushchairs, no question.
They can legitimately complain under the DDA.

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Old 29-02-2008, 04:06 PM   #4
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im just going to post the response i posted on that website, save me writing it all out again. the space on our buses specifies that it if for wheelchair users, it doesnt mention buggys. many people on the other site went as far to say that buggys should be banned on buses and others went on to talk about how the elderly, young children and women with buggys are basically the most annoying people to ever get on a bus and how much they hate their presence.

my response:

i agree that should a parent be able to fold their pram or buggy to accomodate a wheelchair user then they should. but there seems to be a lot of people demonising mothers. a lot of comments being thrown around that they chose to have children and they should walk for however many miles they need to travel because they got themselves in that situation. it makes it sound like you have commited a crime having a child and must be punished. people griping about how buggys should be banned from buses because in their day, you couldnt get on a bus with one. well, i am sorry that buses were not more accessible but dont tell me that if there were buses like today back then that you wouldnt have used them. parents have as much right to use public transport as the next person. i see a lot of comments about taxis and driving too - if you dont drive (for whatever reason) and you cant afford to take taxis everywhere, but need to get to the other side of edinburgh, why should you have to walk?

as for pregnant women - i am heavily pregnant and not once has anyone offered me a seat, i get nothing but dirty looks and nasty comments from people who assume i am a lot younger than i really am - the elderly being the worst culprits. for the record, i would surrender my seat to an elderly person regardless of the fact i am pregnant as it is common courtesy. again though, people seem to demonise pregnant women saying that they chose to get pregnant, live with it. pregnant women arent asking to be given priority, its just common decency - the bump is heavy and you have no idea what state of health that woman is in either, pregnancy puts a big strain on the body and goes hand in hand with a lot of illnesses.

personally, i am not looking forward to travelling with my baby when it is born. it is one thing that has terrified me from day one - getting around with my baby. i will walk when possible but i am dreading getting on buses with my buggy, simply because of the sort of attitude displayed by some people - the sort of attitude that i have noted in many posts. it angers me that i am actually even having to worry about going out in public with my baby, i think its disgusting the way people treat parents - particularly young mothers. i would actually be interested to see what would happen if my brother who is disabled was to take my child on a bus in a buggy. he would not be physically able to fold the buggy while carrying the baby because of his disability...so should he be thrown off the bus in favour of the wheelchair user? what if he waited half an hour for that bus and the wheelchair user just happened to turn up just as the bus arrived?

since when did the elderly, children, pregnant women and parents with buggys become public enemies? and having a disability is a difficult thing to have to live with but you have to draw the line somewhere. constantly fighting for equal rights but quick to play the disability card as soon as you arent given priority.





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Old 29-02-2008, 06:34 PM   #5
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Old 29-02-2008, 08:34 PM   #6
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See, it really does depend on the age of the baby to whether you can fold the buggy. If your child can not stand by themselves it's gonna be pretty damn hard to fold down a buggy while holding a baby.
I can see why she's complained and things, but it could have been possible that the reason the buggy didn't get folded was because she couldn't do it, so being no room for the wheel chair.



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Old 01-03-2008, 12:18 AM   #7
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Here people have to fold up their buggy's before getting onto the bus..I've seen it happen alot...The driver ask's people to fold their buggy's before stepping onto the bus.. and if they cant they cant get onto the bus.








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Old 01-03-2008, 12:36 AM   #8
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The trouble is... so many bus drivers are being verbally abused & even assaulted. He doesn't know that if he asks someone to move they're not going to get abusive or complain as well.

If there's not room on the bus then there's not room.

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Old 01-03-2008, 09:02 PM   #9
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yeah it was evening news lol, surprise surprise. a lot of my response was due to comments that had been made. i was angry to see a lot of people saying buggys should be banned from buses and that mothers were selfish - often referred to as 'young mothers' as well which niggled me.
i think a lot of people dont realise how difficult it is to fold a buggy while holding a baby and rarely will you see anyone offer to help. there will also probably be bags involved as you have to cart so much around with your baby, perhaps some shopping bags too. so trying to carry a baby, gather bags, fold a buggy, pick the buggy up and put it into the storage area which is usually just below shoulder height, find a seat...it isnt easy when your alone.
bus drivers do have a tough job, they just dont get paid enough for the amount of crap they put up with. the driver cant physically make someone do something.
i dont have any problem with wheelchair users, i think they are as much entitled to travel as anyone else, but i disagree with the fact that this person has ran to the papers because there was no room on the bus for the wheelchair. this happens to able bodied people regularly, if there is no space then you cant get on.
and though it is probably irrelevant, the bus in question runs every 2-5 mins, so waiting for the next one would be no great hardship.





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Old 01-03-2008, 09:12 PM   #10
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see, i was on a bus once, and the dad was holding the baby while the mum sat with the buggy unfolded with a carrier bag on it. Think it was on the Lothian 3/33. The bus was busy, I got one of the last seats. The buggy in that instance should've been folded IMO

with the 22, there is one every 10 minutes almost all day, so the mother wouldn't have had to wait too long, but I can completly understand her complaint aswell.

I think the woman has every right to complain, and if at all possible a buggy should be folded to allow a wheelchair user on. but it almost never happens
but then again. I have been on a bus which stopped in the middle of princes street for seemingly no reason, there was a disturbance upstairs, but the driver didnt say anything, leave his booth or even use the tannoy thing installed in buses.
Edinburgh bus drivers are even worse that bus drivers in Glasgow, who I think are really awful

(psst. Scotland people, look here. )



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Old 01-03-2008, 09:14 PM   #11
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see that is just plain rude, when buggys dont even have babies in em and are left unfolded on a busy bus.





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Old 01-03-2008, 09:17 PM   #12
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yep. The baby eventually went into the buggy, but while it wasnt in use it shouldnt hav been taking up loads of space

and Raven, to make you feel better about the world (at least on buses) I often offer my seat to pregnant/old people. Sometimes even people with tons of shopping



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Old 01-03-2008, 09:18 PM   #13
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:21 PM   #14
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ohh, the 35 goes past my flat when its heading to the airport!! I only get it when im going to bridges/stuff around there though *nods*
or to a vodka bar!! so i dont need to walk up hill

35 has too much luggage space though -/


but yea, edinburgh bus drivers are almost all crappy *nods*



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Old 01-03-2008, 09:27 PM   #15
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35 goes past my flat too heehee. it is relatively quiet bus...so i like it...i like quiet buses.
glad to hear someone gives up seats on buses! i do too, but never get a thanks.





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Old 01-03-2008, 09:34 PM   #16
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ohh *wonders if either of you live near me*
I usually only get the 34 to uni or the 34/4/44 to and from work/shopping *nods*
I got shouted down once by an old lady on a bus in East Kilbride cos I offered her my seat -/



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Old 01-03-2008, 09:45 PM   #17
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i dont think some of the bus drivers in glasgow are all that great either, some of them can be really rude.

In glasgow there is a whelchair space/buggy space/ elderly people seats, basically first come first served, i mean you can fit two buggys in there but ive seen it before where the had 3 buggys which totaly blocked the way out of the bus, and non of them would fold them. Teh bus i get into town is every ten mins and is always busy.

In dundee its kinda the same, but i think its more stricter.





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Old 01-03-2008, 09:47 PM   #18
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im in leith *yay*
why would someone shout at you for offering them a seat? i would have just said fuk ye then, stand.





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Old 01-03-2008, 09:48 PM   #19
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yea, ive had a glasgow bus driver drive past my stop even when i pressed the bell because he couldnt be bothered stopping. I had to walk 5 minutes back uphill just to get back to the stop i wanted off at

Ive seen several buggys on glasgow buses, and it was a single decker bus aswell... i think most i saw was 3 -/



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Old 01-03-2008, 09:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven View Post
im in leith *yay*
why would someone shout at you for offering them a seat? i would have just said fuk ye then, stand.
nah, im in slateford *nods*
cos she was a grump. She did have to stand, I wasnt giving up my seat for an ungrateful old hag!!



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