Bus rage!

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Image used with thanks to TfL

As the high court has announced its decision that wheelchair users do not have priority use of reserved space on buses, many disabled commuters are left feeling betrayed and even more marginalised.

But it isn’t just buses that there’s trouble, it is also trains – the assumption that society can be trusted on its own to act sensibly is rather utopian. It just doesn’t happen. Which is why we are calling for the law to be changed to protect disabled parking bays!! At least with the trains you can book a space – even if the disabled area is located near the doors and the toilets (who the hell had that idea?). 

Many disabled people are unable to drive so their only option is public transport, sadly people are selfish and full of self importance and care for their fellow man – even the most vulnerable in our society face harsh treatment from their fellow man. But it is the bus companies that are to blame here. They have failed to provide a space for wheelchair users AND buggies. Travel on a red London bus and this is exactly what you find (correct me please if I am wrong it has been a few years since I have ventured to our capital city). Everything costs money, I understand that. But to expect a mother and child(ren) to stand out in the cold and wet waiting for another bus, that could potentially be full is wrong. To expect a disabled person (whatever their disability) to do the same is just as wrong. One could even say this is morally wrong and that the bus company has a duty of care to its passengers, whoever they may be.

We no longer live in the 1950’s when people showed respect for their elders, would happily give up a seat for someone infirm, or for a pregnant mother. I also firmly believe better training for the drivers is necessary, but they should not be forced to become judge and jury. They are not paid enough for a start.

So what can be done?

Discussions with disabled people would be a great start, particularly at the design stage. Correct provisions on buses and trains should be enforced when applying for the licence to provide the service. I for one wouldn’t mind paying a little extra to ensure I could get on a bus like every other punter. For now though I have the luxury of my own vehicle.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Chris

 

In case you missed the ruling click here to read the BBC’s article.

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7 thoughts on “Bus rage!

  1. Unfortunately, a misunderstanding has been peddled by the media and you appear to have fallen into the trap. Basically, we still have priority but the ultimate sanction is not available to enforce it.

    The judges reinforced wheelchair priority, stating that drivers are obliged to do everything possible to clear the space for a wheelchair user. They even gave a recommendation of refusing to leave the bus stop until the w/c user is safely on board. Where they drew the line is by not allowing the obstructive passenger to be evicted from the bus. This is the only sanction a driver is banned from using, with emphasis on using all other options to persuade the buggy pusher to clear the space. The case is being further appealed as anyone who blocks our space is stopping us from enjoying the right to use the bus as non-disabled people do.

    Incidentally, if a man /group of men blocked the entrance(s) to prevent women boarding a bus, the driver would order them to move or get off and could get police backup if they refused, because sex discrimination is illegal. But if someone with a buggy blocks a disabled passenger, they cannot be ordered off, just asked, however strongly, to move/fold-up. This is despite the Equality Act 2010 supposedly treating all discrimination ( disability, sex, race etc) the same.

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      1. I read Doug Paulley’s comments on his blog and downloaded the full judgement for myself. The judgement is over 20 pages long but is worth a read. I followed a link but if you Google “Paulley v Firstgroup” you should find the .pdf link at the top of the results (the link address is at judiciary.gov.uk). Doug’s blog is kingqueen.org.uk & his Twitter is @kingqueen3065 – The link to the judgement he supplies on his blog gives the .doc version rather than the .pdf version. The best comments are from Lady Justice Arden on the last few pages but read page 2 for the statement confirming priority has not been taken away. It is just how far the bus companies go to give us the priority which is now in contention. I hope this helps.

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  2. judge not care about disabled/. we fight campagain many years, parent can fold pram they lazy and wheelchair cannot fold. some disabled wait next bus 1 o 2 hours and cold and rain. wake up judge

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