Disabled bus passengers threaten legal action

Oxford Mail: STRANDED: Friends Robert Light and Mandi Cook claim Stagecoach drivers often refuse to let them on board STRANDED: Friends Robert Light and Mandi Cook claim Stagecoach drivers often refuse to let them on board

A BUS firm has pledged to ensure drivers create space for wheelchair users after two friends threatened legal action.

Robert Light and Mandi Cook claim they are being left stranded at bus stops because drivers are failing to demand parents move buggies out of wheelchair bays.

They say they will file legal papers at Oxford County Court in a bid to force Stagecoach to enforce its rules.

A Stagecoach spokesman said its policy clearly stated the bays must be available for wheelchair users.

She said: “Drivers are expected to ensure that this policy is adhered to.”

The firm has offered to meet Mr Light and Miss Cook and drivers are to be reminded of the policy.

Miss Cook, 47, of Duxford Close, Bicester, who has a congenital dislocation of the hips, claims she is refused onto a bus at least twice a week and has to wait half-an-hour for the next one.

She said: “The drivers are badly informed.”

Robert Light, who has sciatica, arthritis and osteoporosis, added: “We both felt very strongly about what’s been going on with Stagecoach.

“There is a wheelchair space on each bus but it’s a case of you’re fighting pushchairs and it’s crazy.

“We are very serious and are going to take action in the county courts. “It’s got to be done.”

Comments (25)

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12:28pm Wed 10 Apr 13

King Joke says...

Stagecoach have been better on this issue than other companies, as they had enough room for a wheelchair AND pushchair on each bus from the introduction of low-floor buses in the late 90s.

Other companies only have one space or have only converted in the last couple of years.

There is a legal requirement to ask a parent with a pushchair to collapse their pushchair, but if they refuse the bus company can't force them!

We should be aiming to accommodate everybody, goodness knows we should be encouraging families to use the bus instead of driving. There should be space for at least one wheelchair and at least one pushchair on each bus.
Stagecoach have been better on this issue than other companies, as they had enough room for a wheelchair AND pushchair on each bus from the introduction of low-floor buses in the late 90s. Other companies only have one space or have only converted in the last couple of years. There is a legal requirement to ask a parent with a pushchair to collapse their pushchair, but if they refuse the bus company can't force them! We should be aiming to accommodate everybody, goodness knows we should be encouraging families to use the bus instead of driving. There should be space for at least one wheelchair and at least one pushchair on each bus. King Joke
  • Score: 15

1:01pm Wed 10 Apr 13

BigAlBiker says...

This is a general observation, one minute people with disabilities want equality in everything an able bodied person can have and does, then in other cases they want special dispensation for other stuff like this bus issue, car parking at superstores, access to public places for example.

Just my 2p worth.
This is a general observation, one minute people with disabilities want equality in everything an able bodied person can have and does, then in other cases they want special dispensation for other stuff like this bus issue, car parking at superstores, access to public places for example. Just my 2p worth. BigAlBiker
  • Score: -4

1:15pm Wed 10 Apr 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

King Joke wrote:
Stagecoach have been better on this issue than other companies, as they had enough room for a wheelchair AND pushchair on each bus from the introduction of low-floor buses in the late 90s.

Other companies only have one space or have only converted in the last couple of years.

There is a legal requirement to ask a parent with a pushchair to collapse their pushchair, but if they refuse the bus company can't force them!

We should be aiming to accommodate everybody, goodness knows we should be encouraging families to use the bus instead of driving. There should be space for at least one wheelchair and at least one pushchair on each bus.
A double-decker bendy-bus would offer even more space.

If it is a legal requirement for a driver to "ask" and they refuse to do so. Shouldn't the wheelchair user dial 999 and report a crime in progress?
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Stagecoach have been better on this issue than other companies, as they had enough room for a wheelchair AND pushchair on each bus from the introduction of low-floor buses in the late 90s. Other companies only have one space or have only converted in the last couple of years. There is a legal requirement to ask a parent with a pushchair to collapse their pushchair, but if they refuse the bus company can't force them! We should be aiming to accommodate everybody, goodness knows we should be encouraging families to use the bus instead of driving. There should be space for at least one wheelchair and at least one pushchair on each bus.[/p][/quote]A double-decker bendy-bus would offer even more space. If it is a legal requirement for a driver to "ask" and they refuse to do so. Shouldn't the wheelchair user dial 999 and report a crime in progress? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -2

1:45pm Wed 10 Apr 13

King Joke says...

Al - these passengers are asking nothing more than any other able-bodied passenger automatically has, ie the right to board the bus. Why on Earth should they be denied this right?

Andrew, accommodating bendy buses in Oxford would require wholesale rearrangement of kerbside space in the City Centre. You could only use them on routes which don't pass through the City Centre which would make for a pretty small, inflexible and uneconomic fleet.
Al - these passengers are asking nothing more than any other able-bodied passenger automatically has, ie the right to board the bus. Why on Earth should they be denied this right? Andrew, accommodating bendy buses in Oxford would require wholesale rearrangement of kerbside space in the City Centre. You could only use them on routes which don't pass through the City Centre which would make for a pretty small, inflexible [pffft!] and uneconomic fleet. King Joke
  • Score: 2

5:00pm Wed 10 Apr 13

Oxonian says...

BigAlBiker wrote:
This is a general observation, one minute people with disabilities want equality in everything an able bodied person can have and does, then in other cases they want special dispensation for other stuff like this bus issue, car parking at superstores, access to public places for example.

Just my 2p worth.
BigAl Biker,

You say you are just offering your 2p but it's hardly worth a halfpenny!

Have a bit more sympathy for the disabled: you may join their ranks one day and wonder why you are left waiting half-an-hour in the cold for a bus.
[quote][p][bold]BigAlBiker[/bold] wrote: This is a general observation, one minute people with disabilities want equality in everything an able bodied person can have and does, then in other cases they want special dispensation for other stuff like this bus issue, car parking at superstores, access to public places for example. Just my 2p worth.[/p][/quote]BigAl Biker, You say you are just offering your 2p but it's hardly worth a halfpenny! Have a bit more sympathy for the disabled: you may join their ranks one day and wonder why you are left waiting half-an-hour in the cold for a bus. Oxonian
  • Score: 5

7:45pm Wed 10 Apr 13

BigAlBiker says...

Oxonian wrote:
BigAlBiker wrote:
This is a general observation, one minute people with disabilities want equality in everything an able bodied person can have and does, then in other cases they want special dispensation for other stuff like this bus issue, car parking at superstores, access to public places for example.

Just my 2p worth.
BigAl Biker,

You say you are just offering your 2p but it's hardly worth a halfpenny!

Have a bit more sympathy for the disabled: you may join their ranks one day and wonder why you are left waiting half-an-hour in the cold for a bus.
Well I thought it was worth a florin all day every day, for further clarification I do help with disabled people every week so I do know a little of there difficulties and try to help in some small ways.

BUT I have met some people with disabilities who practically bully people to help them when they can't be bothered to help themselves, that's the type of person I have little time for.

Buses in this topic should as they do have an area for wheelchair users and people who automatically put something in there way should be instructed to move it, but I have also seen five people with wheelchairs try to board one bus, never going to happen really is it.

We can all do a bit more sure, it's just some take the p***.
[quote][p][bold]Oxonian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BigAlBiker[/bold] wrote: This is a general observation, one minute people with disabilities want equality in everything an able bodied person can have and does, then in other cases they want special dispensation for other stuff like this bus issue, car parking at superstores, access to public places for example. Just my 2p worth.[/p][/quote]BigAl Biker, You say you are just offering your 2p but it's hardly worth a halfpenny! Have a bit more sympathy for the disabled: you may join their ranks one day and wonder why you are left waiting half-an-hour in the cold for a bus.[/p][/quote]Well I thought it was worth a florin all day every day, for further clarification I do help with disabled people every week so I do know a little of there difficulties and try to help in some small ways. BUT I have met some people with disabilities who practically bully people to help them when they can't be bothered to help themselves, that's the type of person I have little time for. Buses in this topic should as they do have an area for wheelchair users and people who automatically put something in there way should be instructed to move it, but I have also seen five people with wheelchairs try to board one bus, never going to happen really is it. We can all do a bit more sure, it's just some take the p***. BigAlBiker
  • Score: -4

9:32pm Wed 10 Apr 13

Doctor69 says...

This is a difficult subject. Parents need space for young children's push chairs, and disabled people have to have an area for their wheelchairs or accessible seating.

Maybe the bus companies could reduce normal seating to accomadte the less able?

Personally I thought the area at front of bus was for both mothers and the disabled?
This is a difficult subject. Parents need space for young children's push chairs, and disabled people have to have an area for their wheelchairs or accessible seating. Maybe the bus companies could reduce normal seating to accomadte the less able? Personally I thought the area at front of bus was for both mothers and the disabled? Doctor69
  • Score: -4

9:45pm Wed 10 Apr 13

JanetJ says...

Whats so difficult about folding up a pushchair when necessary?
Whats so difficult about folding up a pushchair when necessary? JanetJ
  • Score: 4

11:32pm Wed 10 Apr 13

King Joke says...

Doctor, this is precisely what Stagecoach have done. By having two spaces, one for wheelchairs, they are offering less seating than may otherwise be the case, but it's the right thing to do.

Janet, folding a pushchair full of shopping isn't that easy.
Doctor, this is precisely what Stagecoach have done. By having two spaces, one for wheelchairs, they are offering less seating than may otherwise be the case, but it's the right thing to do. Janet, folding a pushchair full of shopping isn't that easy. King Joke
  • Score: 4

5:55am Thu 11 Apr 13

davyboy says...

Once the driver has asked, he has done his job. If he explains the situation when the second buggy gets on, it isup to them if tthey get on or not. If that person then refuses to fold the pushchair when a wheelchair user wants to get on, the driver can do no more.
Once the driver has asked, he has done his job. If he explains the situation when the second buggy gets on, it isup to them if tthey get on or not. If that person then refuses to fold the pushchair when a wheelchair user wants to get on, the driver can do no more. davyboy
  • Score: 3

9:20am Thu 11 Apr 13

richardbrennan says...

People who are unsympathetic to disabled people being able to board the bus are often the same people who complain about not enough disabled people working. How are disabled people expected to work if they cannot get on the bus?
People who are unsympathetic to disabled people being able to board the bus are often the same people who complain about not enough disabled people working. How are disabled people expected to work if they cannot get on the bus? richardbrennan
  • Score: 5

9:52am Thu 11 Apr 13

King Joke says...

richardbrennan wrote:
People who are unsympathetic to disabled people being able to board the bus are often the same people who complain about not enough disabled people working. How are disabled people expected to work if they cannot get on the bus?
Well said Richard.
[quote][p][bold]richardbrennan[/bold] wrote: People who are unsympathetic to disabled people being able to board the bus are often the same people who complain about not enough disabled people working. How are disabled people expected to work if they cannot get on the bus?[/p][/quote]Well said Richard. King Joke
  • Score: 4

10:11am Thu 11 Apr 13

BigAlBiker says...

King Joke wrote:
Doctor, this is precisely what Stagecoach have done. By having two spaces, one for wheelchairs, they are offering less seating than may otherwise be the case, but it's the right thing to do.

Janet, folding a pushchair full of shopping isn't that easy.
Forgive me but I thought a pushchair was for a child not shopping?

Must have different uses now than when I pushed my daughter around.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Doctor, this is precisely what Stagecoach have done. By having two spaces, one for wheelchairs, they are offering less seating than may otherwise be the case, but it's the right thing to do. Janet, folding a pushchair full of shopping isn't that easy.[/p][/quote]Forgive me but I thought a pushchair was for a child not shopping? Must have different uses now than when I pushed my daughter around. BigAlBiker
  • Score: -3

10:18am Thu 11 Apr 13

King Joke says...

How about a bit of tolerance Janet? We rightly expect parents to be tolerant of disabled passengers so we should, where we can, accommodate people who are laden with shopping and kids.

If we constantly antagonise parents they'll just start using the car, which is of no benefit to bus passengers, disabled or otherwise.
How about a bit of tolerance Janet? We rightly expect parents to be tolerant of disabled passengers so we should, where we can, accommodate people who are laden with shopping and kids. If we constantly antagonise parents they'll just start using the car, which is of no benefit to bus passengers, disabled or otherwise. King Joke
  • Score: 4

9:23pm Thu 11 Apr 13

JanetJ says...

King Joke wrote:
How about a bit of tolerance Janet? We rightly expect parents to be tolerant of disabled passengers so we should, where we can, accommodate people who are laden with shopping and kids.

If we constantly antagonise parents they'll just start using the car, which is of no benefit to bus passengers, disabled or otherwise.
I totally agree - I imagine its somewhat easier to fold up a pushchair occasionally than it is to fold up a wheelchair. And yes - I have pushed 2 toddlers round in a double buggy in my time and it isn't easy but I imagine travelling in a wheelchair isn't easy either and the pushchair users do have a choice.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: How about a bit of tolerance Janet? We rightly expect parents to be tolerant of disabled passengers so we should, where we can, accommodate people who are laden with shopping and kids. If we constantly antagonise parents they'll just start using the car, which is of no benefit to bus passengers, disabled or otherwise.[/p][/quote]I totally agree - I imagine its somewhat easier to fold up a pushchair occasionally than it is to fold up a wheelchair. And yes - I have pushed 2 toddlers round in a double buggy in my time and it isn't easy but I imagine travelling in a wheelchair isn't easy either and the pushchair users do have a choice. JanetJ
  • Score: 4

4:00am Sat 13 Apr 13

Scaramucia says...

King Joke wrote:
Al - these passengers are asking nothing more than any other able-bodied passenger automatically has, ie the right to board the bus. Why on Earth should they be denied this right?

Andrew, accommodating bendy buses in Oxford would require wholesale rearrangement of kerbside space in the City Centre. You could only use them on routes which don't pass through the City Centre which would make for a pretty small, inflexible and uneconomic fleet.
No it wouldn't, Bendy buses used to run around Oxford quite happily a few years ago.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Al - these passengers are asking nothing more than any other able-bodied passenger automatically has, ie the right to board the bus. Why on Earth should they be denied this right? Andrew, accommodating bendy buses in Oxford would require wholesale rearrangement of kerbside space in the City Centre. You could only use them on routes which don't pass through the City Centre which would make for a pretty small, inflexible [pffft!] and uneconomic fleet.[/p][/quote]No it wouldn't, Bendy buses used to run around Oxford quite happily a few years ago. Scaramucia
  • Score: -39

8:22am Mon 15 Apr 13

King Joke says...

Scara - that was well over twenty years ago - some time in the 70s or 80s I believe - when:

1. THere were many fewer buses in Oxford, probably 1/3 or 1/2 of the service we see these days.

2. There was much more space to accommodate them, with Queen St and Cornmarket fully available for bus stops.
Scara - that was well over twenty years ago - some time in the 70s or 80s I believe - when: 1. THere were many fewer buses in Oxford, probably 1/3 or 1/2 of the service we see these days. 2. There was much more space to accommodate them, with Queen St and Cornmarket fully available for bus stops. King Joke
  • Score: 1

8:25am Mon 15 Apr 13

King Joke says...

Bendy buses do work on the kind of busy high-capacity corridors we have in Oxford, and do work in Leeds, Manchester and places. Unfortunately there is no kerb space to accommodate them here. Can you imagine the busiest stops on St Aldates northbound extended to accommodate 18m artics rather than 12m rigids?? Really?
Bendy buses do work on the kind of busy high-capacity corridors we have in Oxford, and do work in Leeds, Manchester and places. Unfortunately there is no kerb space to accommodate them here. Can you imagine the busiest stops on St Aldates northbound extended to accommodate 18m artics rather than 12m rigids?? Really? King Joke
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Mon 15 Apr 13

JennyDaniels says...

I for one have been refused entry on a bus with my daughter in a wheelchair whilst going to the JR. I was carrying important IV medicine for an appt, The driver stopped me getting on because there was one flimsy buggy with a 3 yr old in it and a person with a trolley??? I went to stagecoach personally to complain and i burst into tears - i was very upset. Having a disabled child with an illness needing medication and being stopped geting on without the lady with the buggy or trolley being asked to move is unaaceptable. The child was over 3 and the buggy was easy to fold with the no shopping and easy to fold. I carried my daughter out of a chair onto her seat and folded the wheechair so i did not miss the appointment! Shame on those people who did not offer to move/fold buggy or help. I am now learning to drive and i will be encouraging my daughter to learn when she is old enough as often in people are unhelpful and do not understand the importance of the wheelchair space. There should be a space for wheelchairs only - i have discussed this with stagecoach - so there is not confusion and as many mothers refuse to fold - this space must be kept free only for wheelchairs. It is very hard to understand the upset unless you have experienced this personally.
I for one have been refused entry on a bus with my daughter in a wheelchair whilst going to the JR. I was carrying important IV medicine for an appt, The driver stopped me getting on because there was one flimsy buggy with a 3 yr old in it and a person with a trolley??? I went to stagecoach personally to complain and i burst into tears - i was very upset. Having a disabled child with an illness needing medication and being stopped geting on without the lady with the buggy or trolley being asked to move is unaaceptable. The child was over 3 and the buggy was easy to fold with the no shopping and easy to fold. I carried my daughter out of a chair onto her seat and folded the wheechair so i did not miss the appointment! Shame on those people who did not offer to move/fold buggy or help. I am now learning to drive and i will be encouraging my daughter to learn when she is old enough as often in people are unhelpful and do not understand the importance of the wheelchair space. There should be a space for wheelchairs only - i have discussed this with stagecoach - so there is not confusion and as many mothers refuse to fold - this space must be kept free only for wheelchairs. It is very hard to understand the upset unless you have experienced this personally. JennyDaniels
  • Score: 1

1:15pm Mon 15 Apr 13

Doctor69 says...

I dont think anyone is being unsympathetic to disabled people, far from it. Just people highlighting it isnt easy for parents either.

I have never tried to get on the bus in a wheelchair, im sure it isnt easy.
Neither have i tried to get on the bus as a parent with a child in a push chair, which would need the child to be removed from said push chair, sat in a seat (if available) then the push chair folded down and stored safely, all before the driver pulls away.

I think people need to be more considerate to others generally.
I dont think anyone is being unsympathetic to disabled people, far from it. Just people highlighting it isnt easy for parents either. I have never tried to get on the bus in a wheelchair, im sure it isnt easy. Neither have i tried to get on the bus as a parent with a child in a push chair, which would need the child to be removed from said push chair, sat in a seat (if available) then the push chair folded down and stored safely, all before the driver pulls away. I think people need to be more considerate to others generally. Doctor69
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Mon 15 Apr 13

JennyDaniels says...

I have a child in a wheelchair and 2 young children in pushchairs so i understand it from both points of view - but if there is meant to be wheelchair priority but parents wont fold then i would suggest the buses make one space for wheelchairs only. It still means 2 buggies can get on but there is a space for a wheelchair if it is needed. I have taken the child out put on a seat and folded buggy, many do it, its not that hard and it may mean that disabled person can get through the day better by doing so. No excuses for not trying to be accomodating to help others.
I have a child in a wheelchair and 2 young children in pushchairs so i understand it from both points of view - but if there is meant to be wheelchair priority but parents wont fold then i would suggest the buses make one space for wheelchairs only. It still means 2 buggies can get on but there is a space for a wheelchair if it is needed. I have taken the child out put on a seat and folded buggy, many do it, its not that hard and it may mean that disabled person can get through the day better by doing so. No excuses for not trying to be accomodating to help others. JennyDaniels
  • Score: 1

1:34pm Mon 15 Apr 13

wend says...

Any bus no matter how big only has a certain passenger carrying capacity. You cannot stretch them. It is the same for able-bodied people. If the bus is full to capacity there isn't much that can be done except wait for another bus. Who should take priority? Once a passenger has paid their fare should they be expected to get off when a buggy or wheelchair user wants to travel.How can the buses be adapted to accommodate even more buggies, wheelchairs etc? Perhaps the relevant groups could get together and come up with viable solutions to this problem
Any bus no matter how big only has a certain passenger carrying capacity. You cannot stretch them. It is the same for able-bodied people. If the bus is full to capacity there isn't much that can be done except wait for another bus. Who should take priority? Once a passenger has paid their fare should they be expected to get off when a buggy or wheelchair user wants to travel.How can the buses be adapted to accommodate even more buggies, wheelchairs etc? Perhaps the relevant groups could get together and come up with viable solutions to this problem wend
  • Score: 1

1:41pm Mon 15 Apr 13

King Joke says...

Jenny - that is more or less what Stagecoach have done. Although the space marked for wheelchairs is not marked for wheelchairs only, there is clearly room for 1-2 pushchairs in the other space. Were a space to be made available for wheelchairs only, it would soon be used for pushchairs by the kind of person you encountered on your bus trip.

Your experience sounds horrible, and there is not much Stagecoach can do about inconsiderate passengers.

Let's all show some consideration people, whatever we want to bring on the bus with us.
Jenny - that is more or less what Stagecoach have done. Although the space marked for wheelchairs is not marked for wheelchairs only, there is clearly room for 1-2 pushchairs in the other space. Were a space to be made available for wheelchairs only, it would soon be used for pushchairs by the kind of person you encountered on your bus trip. Your experience sounds horrible, and there is not much Stagecoach can do about inconsiderate passengers. Let's all show some consideration people, whatever we want to bring on the bus with us. King Joke
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Mon 15 Apr 13

wend says...

Also how safe would passengers with buggies and toddlers be if there were even more wheelchairs and buggies? The people with children and folded buggies would be hard pressed to ensure their safety with the jolting of the bus. Not forgetting other passengers who may be elderly or infirm. I think all people should stop and think before demanding legal action against the bus companies
Also how safe would passengers with buggies and toddlers be if there were even more wheelchairs and buggies? The people with children and folded buggies would be hard pressed to ensure their safety with the jolting of the bus. Not forgetting other passengers who may be elderly or infirm. I think all people should stop and think before demanding legal action against the bus companies wend
  • Score: 0

3:16pm Mon 15 Apr 13

williamrshore says...

I am pretty sure that when parents with buggies get on a bus they must be able to use eyes ?? - Dont the buses clearly say 'wheelchair space'

I notice sometimes parents leave the buggies empty open with kids on the seats, so why cant they just fold them or not take them out in the 1st place.

If they start to use Buggys to carry food , then might I suggest 'home delivery service' - and actually use the Buggy for its sole purpose.
I am pretty sure that when parents with buggies get on a bus they must be able to use eyes ?? - Dont the buses clearly say 'wheelchair space' I notice sometimes parents leave the buggies empty open with kids on the seats, so why cant they just fold them or not take them out in the 1st place. If they start to use Buggys to carry food , then might I suggest 'home delivery service' - and actually use the Buggy for its sole purpose. williamrshore
  • Score: 1

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