Interesting - Bus Company on wheelchair/Pram spaces..

(1000 Posts)
Bathsheba Tue 01-Jan-13 15:39:53

Yes -that old chestnut.

The Chair of the NCT has posted a letter on her facebook page (and has asked for it to be shared so I doubt any problems with doing this) from a bus company's solicitor - the bus company are being accused of being disabalist in not insisting that parents fold down prams/Get off etc. I've posted the info from the bus company below and will happily post a link to this thread on the facebook page as they have been asked to garner as many opinions as possible.


I write further to our recent telephone conversation. As I explained, we are solicitors acting for Arriva North East Limited, which runs bus services in the North East. Arriva is currently involved in a court case brought by a number of disabled passengers. They are alleging that Arriva has discriminated against them because of its policy on use of the wheelchair space by parents with buggies. The court case is very important as it is likely to decide how wheelchair spaces in buses and trains across the UK can be used in future. Arriva’s policy is that drivers will ask parents with buggies to fold them down if a wheelchair user wishes to board the bus, but if parents cannot fold down the buggy or refuse to do so, they will not be forced to. Arriva believes that its policy is in line with the government guidelines and aims to minimise conflicts between passengers by striking a balance between the competing rights of parents with young children and disabled people to use the wheelchair space. The people bringing the claim have proposed various changes to this policy, to ensure that wheelchair users have absolute priority over the space – the proposed changes are listed below. Arriva is obviously concerned about the impact of these proposed changes on parents of young children and their ability to use public transport. Arriva has been given until 28 January 2013 to gather evidence on the potential impacts of these changes. We would be very interested in hearing your members’ views and experiences on the practical impact of the proposed changes on parents of young children. I would be very grateful if your members could respond directly to me with their views by 18 January 2013.

Proposed changes:-

1. Prohibit prams on board
2. Get drivers to ask passengers to fold down their buggies before they board the bus.
3. Get drivers to warn passengers each time they board the bus that they will have to fold their buggies and/or vacate the bus if a wheelchair user wishes to board.
4. Offer passengers with buggies onwards tickets if a wheelchair user wishes to board and buggy cannot be folded down.
5. Refuse access to buggies, prams and pushchairs which cannot be folded.
6. Refuse to continue the bus journey until the passenger with the buggy moves from the wheelchair space.
7. Insist the passenger with the buggy leaves the bus if a wheelchair user wishes to board and buggy cannot be folded down.

Kind regards,
Adam Hedley
(contact details follow but I thought best to remove them - Bathsheba)

manicbmc Tue 01-Jan-13 15:43:46

Not this old chestnut again.

Fwiw - Stagecoach NE have signs which state very clearly that people in wheelchairs always take priority over pushchairs and that is how it should be and is in law.

HollyBerryBush Tue 01-Jan-13 15:44:29

I never say this but - your AIBU is what?

Bathsheba Tue 01-Jan-13 15:45:22

Sorry - I popped it in here as this is where the vast majority of the previous conversations about this subject have been had..

itsmineitsmine Tue 01-Jan-13 15:46:33

I guess if you knew they were the rules then as a regular bus user you would have to ensure you bought a lightweigh one handedmfold buggy...can you put newborbs in those though? Sounds like a bit of a nightmare with twins or newborn and toddler though..

needsadviceplease Tue 01-Jan-13 15:47:47

Are there seriously people who refuse to fold their buggy when a wheelchair user wants to get on?


Sirzy Tue 01-Jan-13 15:48:08

I agree that prams should be told to either fold or get off.

Unfortunatly although in practise that should happen it is hard to enforce with the "world revolves around my child" type parent

manicbmc Tue 01-Jan-13 15:48:12

When my twins were little there were no pushchair spaces. I walked. 3 miles through a blizzard once to get to a hospital appointment.

Sometimes life is tough.

Boomerwang Tue 01-Jan-13 15:48:23

Please don't jump on me for asking this question, but don't wheelchair users receive travel expenses so that they can use a taxi?

I was in London this weekend, and the buses had signs up saying the wheelchairs had priority and asking people with buggies to move if a wheelchair user got on the bus. I was pleased to see these signs but I wonder how the rules (or suggestion) is enforced.

If I remember correctly, the only reason buses have wheelchair spaces in the first place is that disabled groups campaigned for them. Not buggy users, wheelchair users. And now not only have parents with buggies have leaped into these spaces (which is understandable if no person in a wheelchair is using it) but are refusing to move when asked to do so. They are wheelchair spaces. The letter above even refers to them as such. They are NOT buggy spaces.

I can understand the frustration of having to move a sleeping baby/toddler out of a buggy, fold it down and move. But it pales in comparison to the frustration of a disabled person trying to use public transport.

Why this is even an issue is baffling to me. The spaces were put there for wheelchair users. I think that all those proposed changes sound absolutely valid. Buggy users who won't move should be bodily thrown off buses IMO.

For me number 4 makes most sense and as a bus pass holder I always offer to wait for next bus as the disabled person takes priority in my mind as you do not pay for under 5's and the spaces are made for wheelchair users. It can be awkward if you are already in the space but when I had dd I knew I would need to get on and off of buses so chose a pushchair that was suitable

Sirzy Tue 01-Jan-13 15:49:38

Yes you can get mclaren type prams which fully recline and are suitable from birth.

It may be hard if you have more than one child but with help from others on the bus it's possible. If your wheelchair bound you don't have that ease.

Sirzy Tue 01-Jan-13 15:50:24

No boomerwang they don't

itsmineitsmine Tue 01-Jan-13 15:51:49

blush sirzy, ive just remembered i had a maclaren twin techno that was suitable from birth. Ditto my petite star zia, had just forgotten the baby days!

Boomerwang, the disabled are having every benefit systematically stripped from them by the heartless idiots currently running the country. Many live in dire poverty. No, they do not get money for taxis.

Boomerwang Tue 01-Jan-13 15:52:40

I would have trouble folding down my buggy. It's quite chunky. I can't do it with one hand, where would I put my 9 month old? I'm not unwilling to do it, in fact I'd go and buy one of those superlight pushchairs to make it easier for myself. I'd have to hold on to my purse and baby bag and whatever shopping I'd got...

I'd get off the bus, even though they only run every half hour here. I'd just walk the bus route until the next one was due I suppose!

At least I can walk. I'm thankful for that.

Boomerwang Tue 01-Jan-13 15:54:01

Sorry about asking that question, just that I knew several service users who were given extra money for travel expenses and they didn't even use a wheelchair.

TeWisBeenNargledByTheMistletoe Tue 01-Jan-13 15:54:26

Yes you get several different foldable buggies for newborns, off the top of my head silvercross pop even has a double version which umbrella folds, and is good value.

I knew I would use the bus a lot, so did my research and bought the right pushchair.

I am totally 100% with the wheelchair users BTW, and wish them success with their campaign.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 01-Jan-13 15:54:47

All buggies used on public transport should be able to be folded, people in wheelchairs should be able to use the space provided without argument or dispute.
Their priority should be enforced by the driver.
If you can't manage your children under those restrictions, then you should use alternative forms of transport. Perhaps use CB for taxis?

RunnerHasbeen Tue 01-Jan-13 15:55:33

How about proposing that new buses have buggy spaces as well. There will also need to be a system in place to make certain exceptions - for example, a pushchair for a child requiring breathing apparatus should be classed as a wheelchair and some thought concerning parents with mild disabilities that make folding difficult (arthritis in hands, one arm etc.) Lothian buses, who used to be too strict on buggies, had such a system and now has buggy spaces and everyone seems to get along together just fine.

itsmineitsmine Tue 01-Jan-13 15:55:41

I think the key is preparation - if you know these are the rules you get a lightweight buggy and a light sling or baby carrier. You get to the bus stop early and put the baby in the carrier and fold the buggy ready to get on thr bus. You shop online rather thsn carry heavy shopping.

"but don't wheelchair users receive travel expenses so that they can use a taxi"

No they don't and disability benefits are getting tougher, having a wheelchair means that you can lose some of your mobility entitlement.

I take my Mum out in her wheelchair, it is able bodied people who are the problem, taking up the seats at the front, when there are seats available further back.

I caused a couple to get off the bus and shut a few people up when a disabled man couldn't sit down and the buggy took up the space, when the child of about 3 was sitting on a seat next to the father.

We need leglislation because people are shits, not because it is a massive dilemma.

I am in my 40's and can remember the introduction on accessable buses/buildings, it was after the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995).

We now need an upto date transport stategy which allows for people who are disabled and young parents, but in truth only with babies under 6 months old.

SirBoobAlot Tue 01-Jan-13 16:04:53

I can't fold my buggy, because I'm disabled. Which is the same reason I cannot use a sling, or have DS sat on my knee.

I think prohibiting prams on board would be atrocious. I say that as both a parent with a buggy, and a wheelchair user. Passengers who can fold their buggies before getting on, should. If a buggy isn't able to be folded, and a wheelchair is getting on, then the buggy should get off. On our local buses there are seven folded seats. Three buggies are allowed, or two and a wheelchair. I have got off a bus before because other selfish parents would not fold up their buggies - they were perfectly capable of doing so, just chose to ignore it.

Locally we are lucky because there is enough space for both buggies and a wheelchair on the buses, but even then it is still terrible at times.

I can see this from both sides as I have 2 small children and mobility problems (although I'm only rarely in a wheelchair atm, thankfully).

It is a pain to have to fold up a buggy if you have more than one child. But it is perfectly doable, especially if other passengers help instead of just sitting there like lemons watching you struggle. hmm

The wheelchair user should always get priority and this should be made crystal clear to anyone who boards the bus, buggy or not. In the past I've seen wheelchair users turned away from buses because standing passengers were occupying the wheelchair space. Of the list in the OP I would say that options 3, 4 and 7 make the most sense to me.

SirBoobAlot Tue 01-Jan-13 16:07:20

"If you can't manage your children under those restrictions, then you should use alternative forms of transport. Perhaps use CB for taxis?"

CB for taxis? You're shitting me, right? What freaking world do you live in?!

ChocHobNob Tue 01-Jan-13 16:07:21

I think they should do 3&4. There are already signs on most buses but it may be helpful to remind people so if a wheelchair user does want to get on they will expect to be asked to move. Plus as a parent, if you are aware you are going to possibly need to use public transport a lot, keep that in mind when buying a push chair and buy a practical one. Some of the buggies people try to fit on buses are ridiculous sizes.

ihearsounds Tue 01-Jan-13 16:09:26

I think this is a long time coming, and about time too imho.
I use public transport a lot in London. I see a lot of self entitled parents/carers refuse to move/fold up their buggies to allow a wheelchair on. Even worse are the selfish scroates that get on with the buggy up, take child out and leave the buggy there. This obviously takes up the space for other users.
When had my youngest, I bought his buggy knowing that I would be using public transport. Wasn't hard, just needed to use some common sense. If the space was free I would just wheel on, other times I would fold.
The spaces are convenient but not necessary. I say this as a parent who used to use public transport with 3 under 5's in the days the buses had steps. Although I still remember after the wheelchair accessible buses were being introduced, some buses still had steps, and saw several people to the bemusement of the driver try and get the buggy up the steps lol.

3 drivers already do this. But it is mainly ignored.
5 drivers would need to learn about every model, not just from this country.
7 Used to be done, but drivers stopped because of the abuse.

Not sure what the actual solution would be though. Fining would be hard to police, and some parents wouldn't give a shit anyway. Others would probably have it as a badge of honour.

We would need a scheme of card holding, for disabled parents who cannot legitatmately fold a pram, many will have disability bus passes, but some won't.

This isn't about disabled parents, but people who take the piss.

Sirzy Tue 01-Jan-13 16:12:40

For the small amount of parents who are unable to fold a pram themselves then surely you can ask someone else on the bus to help?

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 01-Jan-13 16:15:07

'"If you can't manage your children under those restrictions, then you should use alternative forms of transport. Perhaps use CB for taxis?"

CB for taxis? You're shitting me, right? What freaking world do you live in?!'

The kind of world where people believe that wheelchair users get travel allowances to enable them to afford taxis?

SirBoobAlot Tue 01-Jan-13 16:19:22

I get mobility allowance. And sometimes I do have to take taxis. But I then have to work out for the rest of the month how many meals I am not going to eat so I can afford to leave the house.

Whilst your imaginary world sounds love, this is the real one.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 01-Jan-13 16:20:52

Switch your sarcasm spotter on SirBoob.

5madthings Tue 01-Jan-13 16:25:40

Pushchairs should be folded or get off for a wheelchair user.

But i posted on fb recently as i was hirrified by a new sign on first buses (norwich area) as they have a sign that states wherlchair users fo NOT get priority over wheelchairs and that if there is a pushchair then the wheelchair will have to wait for the next bus!!!

CaHoHoHootz Tue 01-Jan-13 16:29:45

I presume NCT stands for Nottigham City Transport and not the National Childbirth Trust blush

Wheelchair users should always have priority.

I would choose option 3, in conjunction with option 4 when needed. Ultimately, if the pushchair user still didn't cooperate then the bus driver should use option 6 or 7.

Maybe the bus drivers could be allowed (and trained) to assist pushchair users in exceptional circumstances. Bus drivers should also be given reassurance that they will be supported by their employers for insisting that disabled users have priority.

shayshaysmum Tue 01-Jan-13 16:30:20

Saving place for later..

Seriously 5madthings? That's appalling!

* but don't wheelchair users receive travel expenses so that they can use a taxi?*
Can't you see the statement above is just as ridiculous as suggesting CB is for taxis? hmm
How fucking depressing, it's usually a couple of pages in before the uggeion is made that wheelchair users are all on benefits or have nothing better to do than wait at a bus stop for hours! angry

5madthings Tue 01-Jan-13 16:34:00

I know annie i took.a photi of the sign and fb it and others tweeted the bus company as i was horrified! No reply from the bus company.

Have bern meaning to email them.but we have all been ill.

Our arriva buses have done away with luggage racks so even if you could fold the buggy you have absolutely nowhere to put them except on seats which then decreases the seating capacity!

Surely this is ridiculous, I have no problem folding a buggy when requested but we do need storage space for them!

Ephiny Tue 01-Jan-13 16:34:52

It sounds perfectly sensible and normal to me. It's the same on London buses, wheelchair users are supposed to get priority for the wheelchair spaces, according to the TfL website. That's the whole point of the spaces, after all. Not for people to put their prams/shopping trolleys/suitcases in.

mymatemax Tue 01-Jan-13 16:36:20

What a fcking sad world we live in when we need legislation to ensure people are afforded a little common courtesy.
As human beings we should offer assistance to those who (for whatever reason)need it.

If everybody considered others needs alongside (or occasionally) their own than this sort of costly action would not be required.

What a sad, sad, society sad

I think 3 and 4 are practical.

Btw, boomer, a mate of mine doesn't 'even' use a wheelchair, and did used to get some taxi services provided when we were students. But then, she has no hands or feet and very poor sight, so she got tired and disoriented trying to walk far on prosthetics. I'm not trying to be snippy, I just wanted to stress that the phrase 'didn't even use a wheelchair' makes it sound as you would only expect someone in a wheelchair to have serious difficulties with transport, but actually there are quite a lot of other things too.

mymatemax Tue 01-Jan-13 16:36:57

(or occasionally above)

SecretSantaFix Tue 01-Jan-13 16:37:04

Ok, I am going to fling this out there for the people who are under the misconception that being in receipt of DLA means the person who gets it is able to flash the cash and hire a taxi whenever they need to go somewhere, especially if they are wheelchair users.

A ticket for the bus -a full Day ticket, which covers all the surrounding villages and towns is £5 per day. Between my town centre and the nearest seaside town costs £13.75 + ONE WAY.

So say for example, you lived in said seaside town and have 2 appointments a week at the hospital in my town or benefits office etc- that works out at £10 for bus tickets or at least £55 in taxi fares.

Why does a person already with substantial health issues have to endure further poverty because selfish asses who refuse to fold buggies don't get penalised for their revolting attitude? I am not talking about parents with mobility issues themselves.

There WILL be posters on later to point out that their buggies shouldn't need to be folded because of the pesky wheelchair users. There just will, I know it.

TBH if it's down to parental disability then I don't think they should have to fold, it would cause extreme difficulty.

I would however like major buggies recognised for what they are - a wheelchair for a child. I've been told to fold it when DD was so fatigued she was unable to stand because it was perceived to be a buggy.

With a bit of consideration bus companies shouldn't have to an buggies. After all if there is no wheelchair user wanting to use the space there is no need to fold anyway.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 01-Jan-13 16:42:46

I was on a busy bus last year on the way into work. Three buggies were on and at the next stop a wheelchair user wished to board. None of the buggies offered to get off or collapse their buggy. The wheelchair user didn't want to make a fuss and said he'd wait for the next bus.

I was quite annoyed at the time that the driver wasn't more assertive. What if the man was adamant he wanted to board? What would the driver have done I wonder.

StickEmUp Tue 01-Jan-13 16:43:48

im able bodied and i dont have children but my position on this is its very easy to forget anything could happen at anytime and one day i might need a wheelchair or need to look after someone in a wheelchair so i pretty much treat them, and in fact everyone i meet i hope with the same common courtesy ans one day i might need someone to show that to me.

I think the driver should be responsible for saying 'there is a wheelchair user waiting, unless you have a disability could you fold your buggy'? They have no problems with saying you're not allowed to come onboard with hot food/alcoholic drinks when those are banned so it's not as if it's unusual to have to explain the rules.

rogersmellyonthetelly Tue 01-Jan-13 16:46:10

As a parent I know how difficult it is to wrestle a baby, toddler and shopping whilst trying to fold a pram. On the other hand, it is possible, just difficult, folding a wheel chair isn't as the person needs to be sitting in it.
Rules should be simple, pushchairs are fine on the bus provided they can be folded and you are willing to do so. If you won't fold it, you can get off the bus and on the next one.

MsElleTow Tue 01-Jan-13 16:53:13

There will be, also, be posters Glitter who will moan that their babies will get wet, that they were there first and that why are disabled people more entitled to the space than them!

I think it is a sorry state of affairs that it is taking potential legal action for transport companies to sort this out.

threesocksmorgan Tue 01-Jan-13 16:54:23

oh here we go again

mymatemax Tue 01-Jan-13 16:57:48

It is a sad state of affairs indeed Mselletow. I find it so worrying.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 01-Jan-13 16:58:45

I knew I'd want to use buses with dd, so chose a pushchair I can fold with one hand, that is also suitable from birth, the Baby Jogger City Mini.

No-one can expect a particularly large, awkward pushchair to fit and be accommodated everywhere. Doesn't everyone think about their requirements before they buy?

lottiegarbanzo Tue 01-Jan-13 17:02:15

I'd say 3, 4 and 6 (by extension 7) are very reasonable and what should be happening already. Refusing to let pushchairs on ought to be unnecessary if people are at all reasonable.

H and the Norwich bus company need a rocket up their arse.

Combatitive? Moi?

mymatemax Tue 01-Jan-13 17:06:46

in the 70's when everyone had silvercross prams and shopping bags on wheels, we all crammed on the bus.
Everyone just sort of shoved up a bit & made more room. & then shuffled about again when someone needed to get off.

No policy, no legislation needed everyone sort of helped each other out, lifting prams on & off & wheelchairs.

I worry for my son (who has physical & learning disabilities), if he is ever going to go out indipendently he is going to rely on people looking out for him.
I think there needs to be a bit more kindness shown to each other before everyones needs can be met.

All the policy & legisaltion in the world will not improve things if the intent to do the right thing is not there

ZedZed Tue 01-Jan-13 17:07:56

I think that there are some small things that bus drivers could do to help buggy users on public transport and make it easier for them to fold that they just don't do. As well as all the major 'proposed changes', maybe they could just ask their drivers to be a bit more helpful and a bit less impatient.

It's tiny things, but I've asked if I can buy a ticket before folding the buggy before so I have both hands to get the ticket bought and my purse put away and been told that they want me to fold first (perhaps to prove that I am actually going to do it).

I've asked if the bus driver could shut the front door of the bus before I got DD out of the pushchair and folded it just to stop her bolting out of the door and just been ignored.

I've had bus drivers pull off immediately when I have DD in one hand and the pushchair in the other and I've nearly fallen over.

I'm more than happy to fold the pushchair (and I've done it often enough that DD was going and choosing a seat for herself before 18 months while I was buying a ticket and would often fold at the bus stop to save time because it was possible by then), but I don't want to be made to feel like I'm ruining the driver's day and making all the other passengers run late because I'm daring to fold a pushchair instead of just waiting for the next bus.

Full sympathy for wheelchair users, but I think a blanket ban on buggies would be a little unfair - I would prefer a policy of 'don't be a dick' covering bus drivers, parents with buggies and other passengers. This was First in Norwich as well by the way - apparently they're even less wheelchair friendly than they are parent friendly hmm

threesocksmorgan Tue 01-Jan-13 17:08:27

I think all disabled people should have a card. so then small people in sn buggies would be allowed in the wheelchair space.
when dd was little she had a pushchair from the wheelchair service, it was brilliant, so supportive, but folding it was a nightmare and even then it was really big. so I would not have been able to fold it and she bing disabled could not even sit on her own.
wheelchair spaces should always be for wheelchairs/sn buggies.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 01-Jan-13 17:08:51

Onward tickets sounds like a good idea.

Someone getting off the bus to let anybody else who was more in need of that particular bus use it shouldn't have to pay twice.

Also it should be a condition of using the bus that unless you are disabled yourself your buggy should be folded if the space is needed, if required the driver should assist.

And specialist Buggys should come under the classification of a wheelchair, I was pissed off the other day watching a passenger verbally abuse a mother and her daughter ( using a disability adapted buggy) for being in the space he wished to use ( he had foot in one of those plastic things they use for broken feet and there were adequate other available seating for him) it angered me enough that I interrupted and highlighted that it was a disability adapted buggy and that he was being very rude and should know better.

RyleDup Tue 01-Jan-13 17:11:39

People should be told to fold their buggies or get off if a wheelchair user needs the space. If its a child with a disability using a buggy instead of a wheelchair, they should have an equal right to the space. And if its a parent with a disability who needs a pram or a buggy that doesn't fold, then they should be issued a card, similar to a blue badge, to allow them the use of the space as well.

threesocksmorgan Tue 01-Jan-13 17:13:22

you do know there is only one wheelchair space.
aimo a sn buggy can fit in a buggy space. there are more of them, but they should not be asked to fold. it should only be the normal (for want of word) that should have ot be folded.

devilishmangerdanger Tue 01-Jan-13 17:14:15

you can use the blue badge on the bus

MrsDeVere Tue 01-Jan-13 17:15:18

Hands up anyone with DCs over 15....

We managed. You HAD to fold your buggy to get it on the bus. Yes it was a bit of a pain but it was one of those pitas that you expected when you had small children. You knew it wouldn't last long and you dealt with it.

I have some sympathy for parents who have only ever been used to the current system. It must feel like they are being pushed aside a bit.
But buses cannot accommodate every buggy user anyway. You can only get a couple on each bus.
Get an umbrella fold buggy for when you need to use the bus.
Use your pram for when you can walk.
Get a buggy board for the toddler

I am talking from an urban point of view though. I have no experience of what its like in rural areas where there are no pavements and only one bus an hour.

But in London its different. I used to walk everywhere, specially when I had the two under 2. Getting a double on a bus was impossible. But I was fit and able so I walked.

Pagwatch Tue 01-Jan-13 17:16:14

These threads are so sad. That people have to be told how to treat others with simple consideration is shocking indeed.

Pagwatch Tue 01-Jan-13 17:17:41

Yy MrsDevere.
I ad a sling and a buggy I could flip with one hand.
I ad to commute into the city with 6 month old ds.
I had to figure out how to do it.

<<puts hand up>>
I took it for granted that I folded the buggy as I saw the bus coming. If there was anyone else at the stop, they helped.

mymatemax Tue 01-Jan-13 17:18:31

Yep Pag, my thoughts entirly. I really do worry for ds2's future if this is indicative of society

smokinaces Tue 01-Jan-13 17:18:51

I really don't understand why people wouldn't fold their pushchairs. Ds1 was 3 weeks old or even less when I was using buses post c section. He was in a graco trenton thing. Huge. But one handed fold. Which I did with no complaint when a wheelchair user tried to board. Its sad not everyone is courteous in this day and age.

Bathsheba Tue 01-Jan-13 17:19:30

(Sorry just to clarify - yes, the National Childbirth Trust in this case - they were approached in order to garner opinions from parents who would be affected by this)

devilishmangerdanger Tue 01-Jan-13 17:20:13

I even managed to take my heavy DS out of his heavy SN buggy, lie him in the aisle (he couldn't sit) while I took off all the parts needed to fold the buggy. Then carry his quite heavy bag with all his equipment in as well as usual necessary stuff. Going back for DS and his oxygen tank which was attached to DS, whilst getting a seat. Bloody faff, took a while, lots of huffs and puffs tuts and comments about holding people up. All because buggy parade wouldn't fold and we were already late for DS's daily heart check.

If I could do it, why can't you.

mymatemax Tue 01-Jan-13 17:24:26

devil, yep I've had a very floppy (no muscle tone) 16mth old unable to support his own head under my arm while ive inlisted the help of 4yr old ds1 to fold the pushchair & cram on to a tube.
When needs must & all that!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 01-Jan-13 17:27:21

Obviously wheelchairs should have priority over buggies.

The issue is now do you enforce it. What do you do if the driver asks a buggy/pram to shift for a wheelchair and they don't - there are some very nasty abusive people out there and I don't think it should be the drivers responsibility to remove some from the bus by verbal/physical means.

I think passive aggressive is the way to go. Buggy user given onward ticket and bus doesn't move until wheelchair can board.

But then that puts the wheelchair users in a potentially awkward/vulnerable situation.

It's a really tricky one, especially as the sort of person who doesn't move straight away is unlikely to take kindly to being removed.

I guess it might take a couple of years of battling then it will become second nature.

threesocksmorgan Tue 01-Jan-13 17:30:06

that is the problem. the person in the wheelchair can't board until "allowed"
sadly I think the only way to stop it is all buggys having to be folded.
but that won't happen

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

drjohnsonscat Tue 01-Jan-13 17:33:13

This is a bus design issue. It pitches two groups of people against each other who both have limited choices. Neither group can use the tube for example. I think it is pretty difficult to fold a buggy while holding a newborn and a toddler on a moving bus. Especially since bus drivers can be v unhelpful. Of course buggies should give way to wheelchairs but so should commuters, teenagers, etc. I think there should just be another fold up seat space and other users could be asked to move. It shouldn't just be for parents who don't have many other choices. Fwiw I've never been asked to fold the buggy for a wheelchair user but I have had aggro because There was another buggy on board already and the bus driver was being a jobsworth and hostile. How do you fold a buggy while holding a newborn and a two year old and shopping on a bus going at 30 mph? If bus drivers thought it was their job to offer assistance( or they brought back conductors) it would be less of a zero sum situation.

weegiemum Tue 01-Jan-13 17:33:48

I'm a wheelchair user and parent of a child who had (until a month ago when we were discharged) mobility issues.

I pretty mch don't go out without dh when I need my wheelchair. But I've had numerous arguments with buggy users who thought they shouldn't fold when I brought my dd2 on a bus with her Maclaren Major. It's classed as a wheelchair. It's umbrella fold, but have you ever tried folding a buggy with a 7 year old under your arm, because the pain of making her stand was too much and no-one would move to let her sit.

No one has a child in school uniform in a buggy for no reason.

MrsDeVere Tue 01-Jan-13 17:34:16

To be fair on newer parents, because the system is one they are used to, they won't necessarily have factored bus-ability into their buggy choice.
They have been told that there needs are pretty much equal to those of a WC user or child with SN in a buggy.

So now it may feel unfair and that they are having their rights diminished.

I do get that.

Fact is, not much can be done about it. There will always be limit space on buses. They will never be able to accomodate full size buggies and prams in any number. Someone will always lose out.

Best just to stop the lottery altogether. Buggy users will benefit in the long run too because more will be able to get on the bus.

They need to improve buggy storage though. That has always been utterly dire Nd badly designed. Squashing it under the stairs or trying to lift it above waist height were the options. hmm

So good storage and folding buggies and a bit of community would go a long way.

devilishmangerdanger Tue 01-Jan-13 17:37:33

but the parent of the baby is a short term problem, whereas the parent of a disabled child or disabled person is a long term situation.

People who short term break there leg are not entitled to a blue badge for example but others who can't walk long term do.

I don't think it is a bus design issue but peoples beliefs and feelings. Change all the spaces to blue badge spaces, show the badge you get the space.

Someone come along and interpret that for me lol

Ephiny Tue 01-Jan-13 17:40:32

They've always been wheelchair spaces though, haven't they? That's always been the whole point of them, the reason they exist. Yes it can be convenient for other able-bodied people to use the space to put their various bulky items in if no wheelchair-user is currently using it, but I have limited sympathy for anyone who saw that convenience as a right.

13Iggis Tue 01-Jan-13 17:41:41

In the city I live in the bus company brought in new rules (after I'd bought a travel system for ds1) that you could only bring folding prams on the buses. Anyone in the wheelchair space would have to move if someone in a wheelchair got on (unless the bus was full, ie four people standing in the space would not have to get off if a wheelchair user needed on).
This led to years of campaigning, and much crap in local media about lazy women etc.
The bus company has now changed its policy to the following (much more common sense imo) one: any pram can use the bus if there is room. If someone requiring wheelchair space needs on, they have choice of folding and moving, or getting off and being given an onward ticket.
No problems with new system have been reported in local media. They are also phasing out one-accessible space buses in favour of ones with two larger spaces.

skratta Tue 01-Jan-13 17:42:05

I have had to get off buses when someone in a wheelchair comes on, because sometimes folding my buggy is not an option (for instance, I couldn't really fold with the twins in the buggy on my own). However, I can still walk, and to be honest, babies aren't permanent, I get off the bus every now and then for up to a year and a bit, a wheelchair users will probably use a wheelchair for a longer time, and even if not, experience more trouble during that time.

spotsdots Tue 01-Jan-13 17:50:59

A company that is supposed to provide public service doesn't actually have the common sense to know that someone in a wheelchair have a priority over a parent with a child. What a shame that they only want to hear from parents with the children and not those in wheelchairs and there carers/ helpers.

Adam Hedley and whoever your representing, I suggest you get yourself a wheelchair and use it continuesly (from when you wake up until when you go to bed) until 28 January 2013 to gather evidence. I'm sure you will quickly realise which group should have a priority.

Eeebygum Tue 01-Jan-13 17:54:35

Wheelchair users should get priority, absolutely agree with that. A parent should fold or get off.

But, I haven't saw one bus, not a single one lately, that provides somewhere to actually put the folded up pushchair. So not only do they have to put these changes into action, but they will have to also provide a storage space otherwise there is no point in giving parents the choice to fold.

leftangle Tue 01-Jan-13 17:57:36

Our buses say that wheelchairs have priority but I've heard drivers tell a wheelchair user that there is no space because of my pushchair. Both times I've managed to yell that there is space while folding the pushchair but if I hadn't noticed someone in a chair was trying to get on they'd have been left on the spot.

So I think insisting that drivers at least ask the pushchair to fold would be a good start. It would be a shame if everyone had to fold all the time when for most journeys there is no-one in a wheelchair wanting to board.

So options 3, 4, 6 and 7

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 17:58:24

I just got off when a wheelchair user wanted to get of the bus. Would rather do that than have people demanding me to fold the pram down. If I was on a long journey though or the weather was rubbish etc.. I'd have no choice but to fold it down.

But I'd do it before someone DEMANDS me to do it.

spotsdots Tue 01-Jan-13 18:00:12

I use a powered wheelchair, but if someone else in a manual wheelchair was waiting for a bus or lift, I always offer them to go first. So how can an able bodied person need to be forced to realise that?

CoolaYuleA Tue 01-Jan-13 18:02:26

I have just ordered DD a new pushchair. I'm not a regular bus user at all, incredibly rarely tbh, but knowing that I might want to take DD on a bus or train at some point I chose to get a one handed fold. I wouldn't think twice about moving or folding for a wheelchair user, and I am able to identify a sn pushchair.

This is an asshole issue, some people are assholes and if they persist they should be chucked off the bus.

lol Coola, good post.

Pantomimedam Tue 01-Jan-13 18:04:03

drjohnson, this is not 'a bus design issue'. Newer buses are designed to be accessible by people in wheelchairs (and also have bright handrails to assist the partially sighted). Parents are very lucky to be able to use those spaces when they are free thanks to the hard work and ceaseless lobbying of disability advocates. Parents should fold their buggies the minute someone actually needs that space for its primary purpose.

LeonieDeSainteVire Tue 01-Jan-13 18:06:01

Our local bus company has one space for wheelchairs and one smaller space for pushchairs. The wheelchair space has fold down seats so it can be used by other passengers or pushchairs when unoccupied but a sign says clearly that wheelchairs have priority. However every bus can take one wheelchair and one unfolded pushchair (2 if they are maclaren types), this seems sensible, don't other companies do this?

5dcsandallthelittlesantahats Tue 01-Jan-13 18:07:19

I have a folding buggy which I bought specifically for buses ( I had a bigger one for walking - which I do more often). However, the buses have replaced the luggage part of the bus with another wheelchair/pushchair space so that when my baby was newborn I was happy to fold for the wheelchair but was then told to get off the bus anyway as there was nowhere to put the buggy (without it being in the aisle). So I ended up in the middle of nowhere with a 1.5 hour wait for the next bus.

I have no issue folding a buggy but he buses around here at least need to then provide room for that buggy.

ChocHobNob Tue 01-Jan-13 18:09:48

A lot of bus drivers have experienced abuse by parents who have refused to move for a wheelchair user. My Dad being one of them.

Gillyweed001 Tue 01-Jan-13 18:10:46

I've got a friend who uses a wheel chair. A while ago a mum with a buggy refused to fold her buggy to allow him onto the bus. The driver switched the engine off, and refused to move until the mum had either folded the buggy, or got off the bus. She eventually folded the buggy. I will always offer to get off the bus with my 3 month old ds, if a wheelchair user needed the space I was in, as my pram is a pita to fold down. Its no hardship on me to wait, I just make sure if I'm making a bus journey I leave plenty of time for it, in case I do have to wait for another bus.

Pantomimedam Tue 01-Jan-13 18:13:40

I hope the solicitors are also writing to disability groups to get their opinions...

13Iggis Tue 01-Jan-13 18:14:54

ChocHobnob is it not the case that bus drivers experience a lot of abuse full stop - I've heard cheeky teenagers, people complaining about out-of-date cards, about late buses, and even one about not being allowed on with his dog. I imagine drunk passengers give far more abuse to drivers, and happens more often, than the bad-mannered parents who say they won't give a space to a wheelchair user.

McNewPants2013 Tue 01-Jan-13 18:15:14

I would just fold the pram down.

What would of helped when DC was small is a seat that was able to strap the baby in while I had a free hands to fold the pram.

A wheelchair user did get on once and she held my baby to fold the pram down smile

MuddlingMackem Tue 01-Jan-13 18:17:15

Commenting without reading the whole thread, but might not have time to comment if I do that.

1. Prohibit prams on board - NO (too much these days is so far apart that unfortunately buggy accessible buses are now very necessary to many people, rather than a luxury.)

2. Get drivers to ask passengers to fold down their buggies before they board the bus. - NO (not as a standard thing, it's much quicker for everyone that buggies can just be wheeled on and off.)

3. Get drivers to warn passengers each time they board the bus that they will have to fold their buggies and/or vacate the bus if a wheelchair user wishes to board. - YES (at least until it becomes the social norm so that people don't need reminders)

4. Offer passengers with buggies onwards tickets if a wheelchair user wishes to board and buggy cannot be folded down. - YES (I think this is essential if people will have to get off the bus to accommodate a wheelchair)

5. Refuse access to buggies, prams and pushchairs which cannot be folded. - NO (but I think if point 3 is enforced people will only use non-folding options when a folding one won't do the job they need it for.)

6. Refuse to continue the bus journey until the passenger with the buggy moves from the wheelchair space. - YES

7. Insist the passenger with the buggy leaves the bus if a wheelchair user wishes to board and buggy cannot be folded down. - YES

I do think though, that bus companies should have the sense to only purchase buses which are designed to have both a buggy and a wheelchair space. The best ones are the older designs which will actually fit two buggies in each space. If the rules above are followed then you would hope never to have more than one non-folding pushchair at any one time. Plus, this would mean that two wheelchair using friends could actually catch a bus together!

Also, if you do have one non-folding and one folding pushchair, and the non-folding is in the wheelchair space, it will be necessary to nurture the good will of people with non-folding to fold and allow the non-folding to have the buggy bay. This will not happen if the current situation continues with people using non-folding unnecessarily, but might if people with folding understand that those with non-folding have a very good reason for doing so.

Hope that all makes sense!

LaCiccolina Tue 01-Jan-13 18:20:26

I barely see disabled using a space. Seems very much a hammer for a walnut discussion? Spaces are for disabled, parents 2nd, fold up if dont fit? Really doesn't seem so difficult. Am bit bemused by issues...

gazzalw Tue 01-Jan-13 18:22:23

I think 3 and 4 are reasonable-ish options.

But I do think this is a very difficult one. We are a carless family and although we are happy to walk a couple of miles, when the DCs were buggy age we did sometimes use buses for longer journeys. Sometimes if a DC was asleep and/or the buggy was laden down with shopping and extraneous bumpf it would have been very, very difficult for myself or DW (alone) to collapse the buggy, keep hold of the baby and attend to additional bags too. It relies on other passengers being helpful which is not always the case...

Recently the DCs and I were on a small bus on an hour long journey (certainly not walkable by anyone's standards). No problem for us as DCs are now well beyond buggy age. But it was a grotty, rainy October day and we went through a town centre mid Saturday pm. At three successive bus-stops three Mums with buggies got on (sensibly beating the crowds at the main town-centre bus station). I was astonished that the bus-driver allowed more than one on TBQH. It was already a full bus. I joked to the children "all we need now is for someone in a wheelchair to get on" and lo and behold at the next stop a disabled person and companion did get on. The Mums with buggies manoeuvred their buggies out of the allocated space quite civilly but in doing so did effectively blocked access/exits for a lot of the passengers (which I'm sure was a health and safety breach). I could not believe that the driver just got on with the journey and didn't demand in a jobsworth manner that the Mums get off. All were happy although I'm not sure what would have happened if there'd been an accident or some bus inspector had got on...

But I would say it's equally discriminatory to turf parents off buses if they can't fold their buggies etc.... I know it's not the same as being disabled but I'm sure most Mumsnetters can remember how shattered you can be going out with babies/toddlers (and it's not as if shopping trips into town centres/hospitals etc...aren't necessary). Can you imagine having to wait an extra twenty minutes or half an hour (as with the bus we were on) with a fretful, tired, hungry baby/toddler and laden down with shopping.

If you are generally a car-free family you might have a rather robust buggy to allow you to walk a lot with the baby. You are not necessarily going to have a fully-foldable stroller too....

Whilst most able-bodied parents would probably not mind being turfed off (or not allowed on) a bus if a disabled person needed the space, it might not be as straight-forward a scenario as that. What happens if it's the last bus on a route, it's dark and you are waiting for the bus (or are turfed off it) in a not very nice area/in grotty weather etc....

Maybe there should be some system whereby disabled passengers at bus-stops can give advance warning that they intend to get on a bus so that parents with buggies are given notice...

I am wondering what used to happen before the disabled spaces were incorporated into buses? I certainly recall that the old Routemasters had no space for wheelchairs or occupied buggies...

Have said all this, I only recall a couple of occasions when we have travelled on a bus and this has ever been an issue for us. If some bus-routes have a lot of wheelchair and buggy users maybe there needs to be a revision of the type of bus provision offered in those areas? Surely it is equally wrong to condemn either group of people (particularly parents who are isolated and car-less) to restricted lives to the advantage of the other group?

And by the way why should parents use their child benefit to get a taxi? I'm pretty sure that George Osborne would take it away from all parents if it was being used on 'luxuries' such as taxis. Haven't used a taxi anywhere since we've had children car or no!

McNewPants2013 Tue 01-Jan-13 18:23:19

I don't agree with point 6, other passengers have places to go.

RubyGates Tue 01-Jan-13 18:26:31

When DS1 was a baby you weren't allowed an unfolded buggy on the bus at all. There was often nowhere to store a folded buggy as the under-stair luggage spaces were thought to be bomb threats and were taped off.

I used a sling, then a back pack and a shopping trolley. Sometimes I used the buggy as a shopping trolley and put DS1 in a sling for the walk home, having got the bus up the hill to the shops with a folded buggy, before the days of internet shopping and delivery.

I automatically did the same with DS2 21 years later because it was so much easier than trying to fold the buggy with a small child and 6 bags of shopping, when someone needed the wheelchair space.

I don't understand why buggies have got bigger, and bigger and less foldable, and why people are so resistant to moving or folding them as time has gone on. It's just bad manners.

13Iggis Tue 01-Jan-13 18:31:31

Why are buggies bigger? I suppose they 'do' more - have frames you can attach car seats or carrycots to, for example. I think the desire to have your baby facing you, and flat, are big factors (umbrella folds have to be forward facing).
Having said that, my memories as a child are of giant silver cross style baby carriages, I must pre-date buggies!

3 & 4 are good ideas.

i was on a bus a few months ago when a woman wouldnt fold up her pushchair for someone that was using a wheelchair. she had the child sat on her lap, and had one of those basic canvas push chairs with only 1 bag on it. basically it was a "i was here first so fuck off and wait for the next bus" moments shock

personally i think there should be more child/family/wheelchair friendly busses and trains. ie on trains have a coach just for parents with buggy spaces by seats, or storage for buggys, extra space etc. and design busses (not all busses) with more spaces for both.

pushchairs nowadays are huge, and everywhere. something needs to change.

ChocHobNob Tue 01-Jan-13 18:34:28

13Iggls- yes they do. My comment wasn't in some way saying that they shouldn't ask people to move be because of the abuse they receive ... I have said earlier on what options I think are best and how push chair users need to consider the need to fold push chairs on buses if needed when purchasing one. I was responding to the comments about people experiencing some bus drivers who don't help or who haven't asked people to move to help a wheelchair user. Unfortunately not all do, but on the other end of the spectrum there are drivers who experience completely uncalled for abuse when they ask someone to move.

Also onward tickets may not be available on some buses but it might be wise to ask what the driver can do in those circumstances when a push chair user has to leave a bus mid journey and get another one. My Dad works for Stagecoach and he can ask you to write your name and address on the back of your ticket, return it to him and he can refund you your fare so you are not out of pocket.

tethersjinglebellend Tue 01-Jan-13 18:34:56

Some London buses now have spaces for bugies/luggage on one side and wheechair space on the other.

Having said that, every other London bus I've ever been on (a lot) requires parents with prams to fold the buggy or get off if a wheelchair user gets on. I have seen people refuse and the driver has stopped the bus until they leave/fold. It's not a problem here, although I can imagine it would be moreso in an area with a more erratic or infrequent bus service.

tethersjinglebellend Tue 01-Jan-13 18:36:37

Oh, and I have been given an onward ticket when required to leave the bus.

MargeySimpson Tue 01-Jan-13 18:38:04

Is this actually an issue still? I've seen a bus driver drive past people with buggies lots of times, but never drive past a wheelchair. Pretty much every bus I get on have space for wheelchairs, and three foldy up seats at the side that you can squeeze 2/3 buggies into.

Where are these buses where wheelchairs/buggies are competing for space. I've never experineced it in central manchester!

Filibear Tue 01-Jan-13 18:38:25

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JamesBexleySpeed Tue 01-Jan-13 18:41:46

'This is a bus design issue. It pitches two groups of people against each other who both have limited choices'

Sorry, Drjohnsonscat, you are wrong. The rights of the wheelchair user are enshrined in law (The Equality Act 2010, the Disability Discrimination act before that)
There are no rights associated with having a baby and a buggy, or a toddler and a baby, or twins, or a hard-to-fold pushchair, or a lot of shopping, or getting there first. Or whatever other reason you can think of for believing you should have priority. There just aren't.

and the parent pushing the buggy can walk

misterwife Tue 01-Jan-13 18:42:33

Option four is the best one, I think. Unless it's the last bus of the day, or buses are very far apart - what then?

BitofSparklingPerry Tue 01-Jan-13 18:42:36

It's simple. Priority goes:

-wheelchair users/other disabled people who need that extra space for whatever reason

- disabled parents with pushchairs

- sleeping newborns in prams

- awake newborns (just thinking of being 8 weeks post section and not having slept poperly...)

- older sleeping babies/toddlers

- older awake babies/toddlers

- people with shopping trolleys, suitcases, etc

- if no seats left on bus, people who want to sit down (obviously elderly/disabled/pregnant/small children have already been given sets in the main bus body)

-empty buggies, dog buggies and other such things

It winds me up no end when I get on a bus or train and get told 'you will have to fold that if a wheelchair gets on', because they are basically assumming that I am a twat. I am not a twat. I am allowed to use my disability bus pass, pay for dd1 and put dd2 in her buggy. OBVIOUSLY if the space is needed I will fold it, nd if I wasn't going to telling me that would hardly help, would it?

I have got off a bus before when a wheelchair user has needed the space, but that is once I actually get into the city. If there was one trying to get on the bus into the city I'm afraid I simply couldnt get off the bus as
1) I would then be left on the side of a rural road with a buggy (with newborn in), asd 5 yr old and nt 4 year old on a road with no pavement.
2) I have to walk just over 3 miles to get to the nearest bus that would take me to the city and given that I have mobility issues myself I really do need a seat at that point
3) The bus is once an hour so if I have to leave the bus, I am both miles from home and from the city and would have to wait a long time for the next one
4) Even if I did fold the buggy, there is no storage space and so the folded buggy would still take up space in the disabled space (and there is no buggy space- it is basically a mini bus without steps)

Thankfully for me there are no wheelchair users that use my bus but if there were I'd be screwed. I have no choice but to use the bus as I am medically prohibited from driving and I have to get to doctors and hospital appointments etc weekly for both myself and 2 of my children. Sorry if I sound self entitled but I really dont see any other option for someone in my position other than to stay on the bus.

I cant see a wheelchair user actually being at the side of a rural road as it would be rather impractical btw but hypothetically it could happen. There is a mobility bus service run by a local charity as well for those with blue badges.

I am in total agreement with the disabled people who are raising this issue, but what happens in a situation like mine?

gazzalw Tue 01-Jan-13 18:45:43

It is bad manners but even collapsible buggies can be awkward buggers. I recall that our MacClaren wasn't very easy to collapse single-handedly (I can recall DW cutting her finger doing it on one occasion) and certainly not with a mewling baby in hand.

Also, perhaps buggy manufacturers need to produce buggies that are actually robust enough to endure miles and miles of walking week-in, week-out. We got through three buggies with each of our two DCs just because the wheels wore out or the chassis broke.

You are right though that buggies seem to have got bigger and bigger - certainly the case since our DCs were babies. We actually purposefully chose narrow, slimline, light weight buggies purposefully because we knew we would need to take the bus on occasions. And we like you would use slings when appropriate.

I guess if it's never been the case that you were allowed on the bus with an unfolded buggy, then parents wouldn't fuss or would adapt (and possibly a lot more might use their cars for short journeys which isn't ideal either for all sorts of other reasons). The problem is that on probably 95 out of 100 journeys parents probably don't have to collapse their buggies so they've got used to a certain status quo; you could probably guarantee that the very times that they are required to do so will coincide with being very tired/not feeling well, being totally laden down with shopping etc....

Under 5s might not pay for their bus fares but their parents do! And quite handsomely too.

McNewPants2013 Tue 01-Jan-13 18:50:32

Me personally i hate seeing prams overloaded with shopping, buggys/prams are not designed to be shopping trolley.

It is even safe. I have put lightweight things on the buggy, but heavier items i would be afraid of damaging the buggy.

Dawndonna Tue 01-Jan-13 18:52:06

5madthings Here is the reply from First Buses, Norwich. I shall be handing it to the Evening News etc soon. Just need to get everyone back to school etc. first.
Thank you for your email and may I apologise for the delay in my response.

I apologise for what seems a very frustrating situation, however, for health and safety reasons the driver is unable to allow any wheelchairs or buggies to block the aisle of the vehicle, therefore, if there is already someone in the designated wheelchair/ buggy area, it is the driver's discretion to decide whether a further user can negotiate the space. In this instance, priority is given to the passenger already on board the vehicle regardless of whether they are a disabled passenger or buggy user. The suggested procedure for drivers when a further buggy/ disabled passenger is wishing to board is to ask any passengers already occupying the designated zone if they are able to move elsewhere or to request that an intending buggy user folds the buggy so it can be securely stored in the luggage rack.

If you have faced an issue whereby a driver has not followed this procedure, please provide the following details;
Date and time of incident
Boarding location
Direction of travel
Details of what happened
Point is, it isn't stating that a Wheelchair user takes priority. Dd is also taking it to the press.

5madthings Tue 01-Jan-13 18:55:53

dawn that is fucking shite!
Pm me if you want any help with complaining, the more complaints to first buses the better!

LilyVonSchtupp Tue 01-Jan-13 18:57:28

I agree Ruby, I've seen some ridiculously sized buggies and prams (carrying one tiny baby) on the bus. When you purchase a pram you should consider all the instances in which you are using it. I bought mine with bus & tube travel in mind (slim, lightweight, foldable).

TBH I rarely saw people in wheelchairs using buses until I had the baby and was on ML and then it became a much more common occurrence (probably because I travelled a lot outside rush hour). In all instances except one, the buggy users got off the bus to allow the wheelchair user on, without complaint. It is awful that people must be legally forced to obey the law and behave like decent human beings. I hope they consult disability groups as well.

gazzalw Tue 01-Jan-13 19:01:50

Dawndonna that sounds very measured and a good response!

Spuddybean Tue 01-Jan-13 19:04:03

This is why i don't take my baby on the bus. I wouldn't risk being asked to get off if a wheelchair user needed the space. i don't drive and live rurally and a bus would be my only way to get to the shops or see people, but with one bus an hour it's not worth the hassle.

i save for taxis. but if i couldn't afford them i would have to buy a different buggy and wear a sling.

it's a shame there isn't room for both, all are citizens and deserve to travel using the mode of transport they require.

Dawndonna Tue 01-Jan-13 19:04:22

It's not a response that says wheelchair users take priority.

hazeyjane Tue 01-Jan-13 19:09:24

I have asked before on a bus/wheelchair/buggy thread - but does anyone know the position on disabled children in 'normal' buggies? Ds is 2.5 and will be using his buggy ( a Mountain Buggy usually, or a Maclaren xt if on the bus) for a long time yet. I wonder whether it is worth making some sort of sign that makes it clear that it may be difficult to get him out of his buggy (he can walk, but is unsteady and often floppy) and it is, in effect, being used as a wheelchair.

gazzalw Tue 01-Jan-13 19:11:28

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Sofabitch Tue 01-Jan-13 19:12:05

"i save for taxis. but if i couldn't afford them i would have to buy a different buggy and wear a sling."
But that's the point. You CAN buy a different pushchair. Or use a sling. A wheel chair user can't change. If everyone was more considerate then this wouldn't be an issue. But because some people with pushchairs feel they are entitled to the space then it comes where someone has to point out to them that wheelchair users are protected in law against discrimination. Hence why we have have spaces on buses.

Now it seems a shame to ban pushchair users as they do make life much easier. But it's not fair on the bus drivers that are lone working and possibly at risk of abuse if they ask someone to fold a buggy.

Sirzy Tue 01-Jan-13 19:14:34

Its not discrimating against parents to ask them to put a pram down for someone who has no options other than to be in a wheelchair.

Parents have choices, disabled people don't.

manicbmc Tue 01-Jan-13 19:15:56

Gazzalw, you choose to be a parent and use whatever kind of baby transport, but if you are disabled there is no choice.

I can't see someone saying 'oh I know, I'll chop off one of my legs to make sure I get priority on the bus'

5madthings Tue 01-Jan-13 19:17:16

Oh it only took five pages to get domeone that thinks wheelchair users shoukdnt have priority over s pushchair.

Having a baby, using a pushchair is a choice. Being in a wherlchair is not.

YuleBritannia Tue 01-Jan-13 19:17:29

I agree that provision should be made for wheelchair users. I also agree that it's not beyond the wit or capability for today's young mothers to fold their pushchairs. I'm sure that people would help them on and off the buses (I have held babies while the pushchairs were being folded before a journey or unfolded after a journey).

If I have a gripe it's for those of us who are 'older' and have shopping trolleys (I don't but I've seen some who do) and I've often thought about taking the RailAir bus link from Heathrow to Reading and then a local bus home. However, I have been daunted by the thought of two large suitcases, a wheeled cabin case and a handbag holdall to get the lot onto a bus and into a space. Would I have to get the lot off the bus for a wheelchair user?

I'd vote for 3, 4, 6&7 - is there a difference between 6 and 7?

The drivers on my route quite frequently refuse to move because someone has tried to sneak on without paying or someone is standing on the upper deck or stairs. Not surprisingly, when everybody wants to get going, passengers join in with calls to 'get off the bus' or 'go downstairs' ... I think socially shaming inconsiderate buggy users could work a treat in these situations wink

When my DC were little I had a massive great silver cross pram for doing the main shop on foot and a tiny (and very cheap) folding pushchair for taking on the bus. It was small enough to fit next to my legs in the normal seats. I also used a sling when I had a baby and a toddler. Difficult and tiresome but entirely possible. Most people are happy to help if you ask nicely.

It's worth remembering that nobody without a buggy expects to be able to get on a bus with piles and piles of shopping as there simply isn't room.

I don't know why this is an issue because as JamesBexleySpeed says, The rights of the wheelchair user are enshrined in law, whereas the rights of buggy users are not. That bus company who have decided to give equal priority to buggy users need a legal rocket up their arses.

I agree that buggies have become stupidly big.

I appreciate the problems of those living in rural areas with infrequent services but you need to be campaigning for better bus services, not to have the rights of those with disabilities downgraded.

Dawndonna Tue 01-Jan-13 19:20:09

What's your problem?
My dds is that she can't walk. Perhaps you'd like to discuss it with her. Others on here will tell you that she's quite capable of --demonstrating what idiots people can be--holding her own.

Ephiny Tue 01-Jan-13 19:22:08

Of course it's not discriminating against (able-bodied) parents and children to say they can't use the wheelchair space. No more than it's discriminating against cyclists, or dog owners, or people with shopping trolleys or big suitcases or whatever to say they need to give priority if a wheelchair user needs the space.

The space is there for wheelchair users. It's not for whoever fancies using it or finds it convenient. And it is not discrimination to insist on it being used for its proper purpose.

Spuddybean Tue 01-Jan-13 19:25:32

i know Sofa, that's why i said 'i would buy a different buggy'. not sure why you highlighted CAN as if i'd said i couldn't.

ihearsounds Tue 01-Jan-13 19:26:15

At the end of the day parents should be considerate. Oh but I cannot put the buggy down, hold the baby and the bags is NOT a valid excuse. How do you think parents coped before the wheelchair space was introduced? Erm, they folded, held baby and bags. Its not exactly rocket science and it is not hard.

There is no legislation to cover you and your buggy. Bus companies allow the use by buggies as a courtesy, to get extra ticket sales. Just in the same way car parks provide p&c spaces.

How is it fair for the person at the bus stop to wait 20+ minutes in the pouring rain because of self entitled parents who cannot be bothered to fold their precious buggy. Yet for the buggy and parent to be turfed off it discretionary? Last time I checked buggies have rain covers etc, wheel chairs do not. Also, having a baby is a life style choice, being in a wheelchair isn't. Can you imagine waiting in the pouring rain to see bus after bus, after bus of self entitled people not wanting to put the buggy down?

If you don't want to be turfed off in a dodgy area, or the last bus etc, fold your buggy. Why are your needs more valued than a person in a wheelchair? So it is ok for that person to be stranded in a dodgy area or miss the last bus?

Why should a person in a wheelchair have to give notice? When the simple solution is to fold the buggy?

Oh and before route master introduced the space for the wheelchair, note wheelchair, not buggy, people in wheelchair either didn't have the freedom to travel like everyone else. Or had to take cabs, which obviously but them at a financial disadvantage.

whathasthecatdonenow Tue 01-Jan-13 19:28:07

I was born in 1980. The youngest of 5 children. My disabled mother had to wrangle me and her four other kids on buses which all had steps up. You folded down the pram at the bus stop. My wheelchair user Dad didn't get to go out much. Now we have easy access buses, because people with disabilities campaigned for them. So just fold your damn pram up.

When I bought my car I checked it out carefully to make sure it was suitable for my purposes. Why don't people go to a shop selling prams and have a go at collapsing them? Is that such a radical idea?

OddBoots Tue 01-Jan-13 19:33:16

3,4,6 &7 all seem perfectly acceptable - is anyone arguing against them?

Sunnywithshowers Tue 01-Jan-13 19:34:50

Dawn that's shit. Does he not know about the Equality Act? FFS.

5dcsandallthelittlesantahats Tue 01-Jan-13 19:35:21

Just out of interest has anybody ever complained about the quality of buses and cost (as opposed to specific wheelchair issues?). I made a complaint a while ago about the cost of the buses and the bad service but never got a reply so wondered if I was just being a moody old moaner grin.

My complaint was that it had cost us £15 for a journey for two adults and one child for a less that 15 minute journey (the price is right not a mistake) and that the buses are badly designed (see my post above about there being no luggage space and not being allowed to have a folded buggy on board as there is nowhere to put it).

I rarely get buses now as it is actually cheaper in a taxi for the journey i do most (hospital trips) which is astonishing really. When did bus travel get so expensive?

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 01-Jan-13 19:35:36

Hopefully gazzalw is in a minority of one on this thread. Someone with a large, unfoldable buggy can generally get off and walk while someone in a wheelchair cannot. Someone with a large, unfoldable buggy will only have a baby for a few years, people in wheelchairs may be in them for life. Someone with a large, unfoldable buggy could have chosen a cheap, smaller, umbrella fold buggy if they need to use public transport, people in wheelchairs... Need I go on?

EasilyBored Tue 01-Jan-13 19:35:49

As long as everyone who (quite rightly) thinks that wheelchair spaces are for wheelchair users, is sure to offer someone a hand if they are struggling to fold down their buggy and hold a baby and shopping etc, then there should be a lot less of a problem all round.

I used to be a bit fence-sitty about this, but a lot of posters on here pointed out the difficulties they faced coping with mobility issues and it now seems very clear cut. Use the space if it's empty, but be prepared to move. If it bothers you that much, start a campaign to improve access to public transport for parents with prams. In the meantime, the clue is in the name: they're wheelchair spaces...

whatwhenhowif Tue 01-Jan-13 19:37:06

Option 6 or 7 would be best from my experience, but it would be helpful if bus compaanies gave some basic training to their employees to enable them to hold a small child while the parent folds the buggy. Generally I have picked on some random woman who looks unfased by the prospect, but the drivers have generally been fairly unhelpful (with a few lovely exceptions), particularly the one who thought it would be a good idea to drive off while I was still trying to hold baby, send toddler to find a seat and collapse a buggy.

blueemerald Tue 01-Jan-13 19:40:02

I do think that pushchairs should absolutely be folded down wherever possible so a wheelchair user can get on the bus, however, I 'babysit' an 11 year old boy with severe autism (major flight risk) and he has a taxicard I'm sure these cards are very difficult to get and only apply in London so maybe easier access and a wider roll out of this scheme could help if people with disabilities want to use it? If they do want to use public transport (as is their right) I do think pushchairs should be folded down in the vast majority of cases.

Why should a person in a wheelchair have to give notice?

Has someone suggested this? Fucking hell!

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 01-Jan-13 19:44:02

Yep, gazzalw.

Paintyourbox Tue 01-Jan-13 19:46:06

I do think in some senses design is to blame- our l

gazzalw Tue 01-Jan-13 19:46:28

I personally have no axe to grind here but as part of a family that has used and paid for public transport for the entirety of our DCs' lives I can see that it's not necessarily a straightforward argument.

We are quite used to walking miles with the DCs and always have done but there are times when we, like all parents might choose a bus over walking for a reason. Maybe they've had loads of shopping to do (and if you don't have a car the shopping has to be transported somehow!), they're exhausted or not feeling well, maybe they've got to get somewhere within a given time-frame, it's dark and they don't want to risk their personal safety. Whilst in theory and in other circumstances a parent (who has manners) might say "certainly I'll collapse my buggy, not get on the bus or get off and wait for the next one" there will be occasions when it's the last thing they feel like doing.

Is this issue directly related to the provision (or lack of it) of Dial-A-Ride services which means disabled people have to rely more heavily on public bus services?

Or is the issue that the bus companies don't have totally transparent policies that are followed to the letter by the drivers. Some drivers are total jobsworths and they usually aren't helpful to anyone, able-bodied, parents, elderly or disabled, whilst others bend over backwards to be accommodating to all but possibly at the expense of one of the mentioned groups. It's a very difficult one and

I wonder how many of you do rely uniquely on public transport to get around. If you do you might not be quite so harsh on these seemingly 'inconsiderate parents'. Quite often where we live, they might not even speak English as their first language and consequently wouldn't necessarily understand the instructions to fold a buggy anyway....

* 5dcsandallthelittlesantahats * My mum and a couple of her friends managed to get a bus service reinstated after it was stopped for being unprofitable. They got a couple of local councillors and the local paper on their side.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SirBoobAlot Tue 01-Jan-13 19:49:13

Old people are actually worse than buggy users in my experience. The amount of times I've had crap for not giving up my seat despite having a bright pink crutch, and when getting on in a wheelchair, been told I was inconsiderate for getting on at rush hour hmm Really love? I'm trying to get to a meeting. You and your friend are going to Sainsbury's cafe.

manicbmc Tue 01-Jan-13 19:49:18

Wtactualf!!? What planet do you live on?

Do you not think that a disabled person might have somewhere to be or shopping to do? You have the choice to use your legs - they do not.

Disabled services have been cut to ribbons by this government. Why should anyone have to accommodate you when you clearly don't feel you should do the same for others. One day it might be you in a wheelchair.

Paintyourbox Tue 01-Jan-13 19:49:27

Damn thumbs!

Our local bus company only has one wheelchair space. Fine but the bus route we live on passes a day centre for the disabled and an old people's home! It's a really busy route (being on the way to the local hospital) and I have seen situations where the bus already has one wheelchair user and another wheelchair user wants to get on! The poor person ends up having to wait for the next bus.

That's before you even put buggies into the equation...

whatwhenhowif Tue 01-Jan-13 19:49:33

3 and 4 are fine too, I do think wheelchair users should have priority, but whether it is worth making a parent collapse down a buggy with a sleeping baby in it in case someone in a wheelchair needs it more doubtful. If you choose to take a pushchair which can't be folded then you would have to accept the risk that your journey may be disrupted.

MariaMandarin Tue 01-Jan-13 19:50:37

I have been refused boarding with a folded buggy. The accessible buses do not have the luggage storage area that old style buses had. So folding buggies is not really an alternative for parents.

Wheelchair users should have priority. However, it is a bit simplistic to say that parents have choices which wheelchair users do not. I wouldn't expect that anyone is getting on the bus by choice. Everyone would prefer to drive or take a taxi if it was an option. People find themselves in situations which they can't do a lot about. If that includes relying on a bus for transportation they have no more choice in that matter if they are disabled or able bodied. Distances can be long enough to prohibit walking even for the fit and healthy.

The real problem is not with the people who use the buses, it's with the poor state of public transport which makes the experience stressful.

whathasthecatdonenow Tue 01-Jan-13 19:51:06

Until I learnt to drive at the age of 17 I had rarely been in a car, gazzalw. My mum managed to fold down my pram without losing any of my other siblings. She must have been a wonder woman judging by how hard some people find it. It isn't hard to fold down a pram if you choose the right one and practice.

13Iggis Tue 01-Jan-13 19:53:16

I really don't like the notion that babies are "lifestyle choices" as several posters have said. Disabled people have rights. The other rights which we should be interested in are not the rights of parents with buggies, but the rights of the children IN those buggies. It is also a gender issue due to the disproportionate number of women who are primary carers of small children.
This issue always brings out a lot of "well I managed it", "how dare they want to use public transport", "they didn't ask to be disabled you know" comments - ones on forums other than mumsnet tend to become particularly misogynistic. It is really just a question of rudeness. You don't need to ban unfoldable pushchairs. You need to ban rude people. Identifying them is obviously the tricky part.. (Some kind of IABU badge perhaps).

MrsDeVere Tue 01-Jan-13 19:54:46


So if you want to go to the shops do you have to book a week in advance and give notice of what time you want to be picked up an dropped off (as long as it is within the permitted times). And do you only go out on your own as children are not permitted on Dial a ride?

Or do you go an wait at the bus stop with all the other normal, tax paying people?

As the mother of a disabled child and the partner of a disabled adult I feel we should have the right to all get on a bus together as we have been paying taxes for over 50 years between us hmm

ihearsounds Tue 01-Jan-13 19:57:02

We are quite used to walking miles with the DCs and always have done but there are times when we, like all parents might choose a bus over walking for a reason. Maybe they've had loads of shopping to do (and if you don't have a car the shopping has to be transported somehow!), they're exhausted or not feeling well, maybe they've got to get somewhere within a given time-frame, it's dark and they don't want to risk their personal safety. Whilst in theory and in other circumstances a parent (who has manners) might say "certainly I'll collapse my buggy, not get on the bus or get off and wait for the next one" there will be occasions when it's the last thing they feel like doing.

So wheelchair users aren't allowed to go shopping?
So a wheelchair user could be exhausted or not feeling well, but that's fine?
Wheelchair users don't have appointments then?
Nice, that the safety of the wheelchair user isn't important.
It occasions like that that leaves the wheelchair user waiting at the bus stop watching endless buses going past.

13Iggis Tue 01-Jan-13 19:57:24

Beertrickspotter - I have a friend who gets out of her wheelchair, folds it, puts it in the boot of her car and drives off. Not saying I think anyone should have to fold their wheelchair to get on the bus, but it's not true that no wheelchair users can get out of their chairs. <Pedant>

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wonderstuff Tue 01-Jan-13 20:02:43

I think that the last two options are reasonable. In Edinburgh they banned buggies for a while and iirc they had to change the policy. Where I live you can't guarantee an accessible bus, 4/5 will be but there may be one with steps and they are only every 30mins. I had a Mclaren and a sling. I could fold the buggy with baby in a sling, a bit more tricky with a toddler - but doable, the toddler got really good at getting on and grabbing a seat while I paid, folded etc. Often people would help me with the buggy. It was irritating when the bus was not a low-rider, but had I been disabled it would have made public transport nearly impossible. I presume that this unreliability is why I have never seen a wheelchair user on our local bus service.

gazzalw Tue 01-Jan-13 20:05:56

I am merely trying to put forward the point that most parents probably wouldn't even get a bus if it wasn't a case of "needs must" just because of just such issues - I know we always avoided using them unless there was good cause to do so - so much so that even now in a buggy-free life, DW is laughed at by friends for the very long walks to shops that she will undertake (that most wouldn't even consider on foot). Maybe some of the parents that do use buses with buggies are past the point of caring.

I would say that the issue is essentially about adequate/good enough bus provision to accommodate the needs of the passengers. If a bus route takes in a hospital, a day centre for the disabled, an old people's home and a big (possibly social) housing estate, it goes without saying that there is going to be much, much greater demand than a bus route traversing a leafy, middle-class rural or suburban area. The buses should be sufficiently frequent that they can cope with heavy traffic from all the passenger groups without disadvantaging any one of them.

Pantomimedam Tue 01-Jan-13 20:07:37

gazzalw, I use public transport all the time and am firmly in the 'they are wheelchair spaces, fold your damn buggy if you are occupying one and a wheelchair user needs it' camp. Because that is the case. They are wheelchair spaces. It's a nice bonus for buggy pushers that they can use them when they are unoccupied. You have to fold your buggy when they are needed for the purpose for which they are intended.

Wheelchair spaces on buses are there because wheelchair users campaigned long and hard for them.

If you want specially assigned buggy spaces I suggest you campaign for them. You might find you get lots of support if you don't try to do it at the expense of wheelchair users.

FWIW I think there is a lot more bus companies could do without having to change the design of buses - not only training drivers in customer care but easing up on the stupid targets which result in drivers driving off before people have a chance to sit down safely, and of course providing more frequent services so there's more room for everyone.

TheCollieDog Tue 01-Jan-13 20:10:12

Are there seriously people who refuse to fold their buggy when a wheelchair user wants to get on?

Seriously, Yes. Hard to believe, but yes.

I've witnessed it with my own eyes on a bus in the Midlands area. Pouring rain, crowded bus, 2 big buggies and parents quite frankly blocking access for everyone, and being quite stroppy about it.

Man at an unsheltered bus stop in a wheelchair, already soaking wet. The women with pushchairs would not move and laughed.

Because there was no conductor, the bus driver could do little except apologise to the man in a wheelchair, as he had to keep to timetable. It was absolutely awful to witness, and I still feel awful (2 years later) that I just watched and did nothing.

So I am completely in agreement with all posters who say that wheelchairs have precedence over prams etc every time And I've done my time of struggling with a push chair in crowds & on the Tube. But I had a choice: about having a child, going out, being mobile. That man in the wheel chair had no choice about being in a wheel chair.

Sirzy Tue 01-Jan-13 20:11:19

Gazza - aren't you lucky that you CAN walk. Disabled people have the right to go anywhere they want, not just to places on the same bus root as a hospital!

SenClayDavis Tue 01-Jan-13 20:13:51

5dcs I suspect responses to complaints about quality of service differ between bus companies. My experiences with Stagecoach are good, if it's First, I wouldn't hold your breath.

Your issue in terms of rising cost is mostly to do with concessionary bus passes. Bus companies are supposed to be reimbursed by the government but the amount they're paid doesn't cover the costs, so it has to be recouped by increasing fares.

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 01-Jan-13 20:16:21

I'm pg with dc2 and we had to get a specific buggy to fit into the car, I don't drive so when DP will be at work I'll be getting the bus. I can't fold the buggy down myself so wouldn't be able to fold it for going on a bus. My dc1 (5yrs old) also has a disability so wouldn't be able to walk a big distance if we got off the bus and walked and he also wouldn't be able to cope with waiting for another bus as it would be 40 minutes until the next one and his routine is important (ASD).

However, the spaces on the bus are for wheelchairs, and I wouldn't ever dream of expecting priority over someone with a wheelchair so have already been looking for a lightweight, foldable buggy specifically for me using public transport when ds1 is at school. I also plan on using online shopping if needed, will try and have appointments during school hours and have been looking at a buggy board type adaption for DS if we do have to walk. I'm astounded that there are people who would refuse to move for someone using a wheelchair. If you plan on using public transport with a young baby you have to take into account the fact that you may be asked to move or fold up your buggy.

StickEmUp Tue 01-Jan-13 20:16:54

What about wheelchair spaces on buses being treated like disabled parking.
No Bluebadge - no parking
No Wheelchair (SN or Adult, or any other inclusions I might not be aware of as an able bodied person) - no sitting in that section of the bus.

This is WAY too simple an answer so please don't take offence but point out what I have forgotten ....

Dawndonna Tue 01-Jan-13 20:17:21

Maybe they've had loads of shopping to do (and if you don't have a car the shopping has to be transported somehow!), they're exhausted or not feeling well, maybe they've got to get somewhere within a given time-frame, it's dark and they don't want to risk their personal safety.

My dd intends to be a lecturer in Literature. She uses a wheelchair. Which bit of the above statement doesn't apply to her. Which bit justifies leaving her in a vulnerable position?

DefinitelyNotMe Tue 01-Jan-13 20:17:38

As a wheelchair user who used to rely solely on public transport, I used to use the bus for a reason. Sometimes I had loads of shopping to do, I was exhausted or not feeling well (often, given my disability) maybe I had to get somewhere within a given time-frame (hospital appointments being just one example), it's dark and I don't want to risk my personal safety.

Also sometimes it was because I was denied access to other forms of public transport ( the tube and many overland trains remain inaccessible). Taxi drivers have also refused to pick me up, or don't see me. Once I was out at night and some idiot had smashed a glass on the pavement, which went into my wheel and then into my hand, which meant I was unable to push myself. Thank fuck for the kindness of strangers that night.

And I've been sat at the bus stop in the rain watching a bus drive off without me, even though the wheelchair space was empty, because he didn't know how to use the ramp. Once it happened when I was on a first date, my date got on at the front and the driver just drove off, despite my date shouting at him to stop and let me on.

But, collapsing your buggy is "the last thing you feel like doing", so I should just suck it up?

Ephiny Tue 01-Jan-13 20:20:01

Having a child is a lifestyle choice though. You really can just choose not have any, if you think the inconvenience of transporting them around is going to be unacceptable to you. It is really not comparable with having a severe disability.

And yes I do rely uniquely on public transport (and walking!) to get around, as I'm unable to drive (which in itself makes me a nuisance according to some one here, but that's the way it is). I use public transport every day, have done for most of my adult life. I've often been tired or in a rush, or occasionally been not feeling well. I still wouldn't dream of blocking the wheelchair space if someone needed it confused.

threesocksmorgan Tue 01-Jan-13 20:24:21

I would love to know how you can fold a powered wheelchair.....pendant emotion

DefinitelyNotMe Tue 01-Jan-13 20:28:28

I am merely trying to put forward the point that most parents probably wouldn't even get a bus if it wasn't a case of "needs must" just because of just such issues

And what makes you think disabled people travel on buses just for the hell of it? I hate catching buses, it's difficult to maneuvre my chair on, even when the ramp does work, that bloody beeping noise that accompanies the ramp moving, people staring and tutting because it takes a few minutes to let me on, having to ask people to move pretty much every fucking time I get on the bus, because I travel during rush hour, because I have a job to get to, just like they do.

gazzalw Tue 01-Jan-13 20:28:28

I can see what this thread started with "this old chestnut".

I didn't intend to offend anyone but just playing devil's advocate and suggesting why some parents may not play ball once on a bus. If parents with buggies were used to regularly having to give up their 'borrowed' space in the wheelchair space area, they might be more habituated to doing the right thing. But as other posters have commented, it's not necessarily a regular occurrence that wheel-chairs users do use public transport (and this thread might suggest why) and although parents with buggies should always be mindful of such an eventuality, I'm sure for many it's not something they think about.

No-one group should be disadvantaged at the expense of any other group IMHO. It is just as valid that a parent (but particularly mothers) can live their life as and when they want to do things as for an elderly person or someone in a wheelchair. And vice versa.

But you are right that it's an issue of manners and good citizenship too. But in some places that is hard to come by. As I've already said some parents might be keener on collapsing buggies if they knew that they could hand over their DC(s) to a friendly fellow passenger whilst they did so. But then you are relying on the manners not only of the parent but also of the other passengers.

You all seem to consider that all parents are equally capable and can multi-task on buses. You may be some of these parents but not all are and I've seen plenty floundering trying to keep older DCs under control, hold onto babies on lurching buses, watch their handbags etc....

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Tue 01-Jan-13 20:28:45

If I have a gripe it's for those of us who are 'older' and have shopping trolleys (I don't but I've seen some who do) and I've often thought about taking the RailAir bus link from Heathrow to Reading and then a local bus home. However, I have been daunted by the thought of two large suitcases, a wheeled cabin case and a handbag holdall to get the lot onto a bus and into a space. Would I have to get the lot off the bus for a wheelchair user?

You need to ask which is a higher priority, a wheelchair user or a load of luggage? Seriously? shock

Stokes Tue 01-Jan-13 20:28:54

Not a parent or wheelchair user, but I remember when I used to commute you'd be guaranteed to have one of those rotten days every so often. You know the ones I mean - a train would break down / the bus wouldn't show up / you'd end up with your face shoved in someone's sweaty armpits. The days you'd get in an hour after you intended, absolutely shattered and good for not much more than sitting on the sofa with a glass of wine. I imagine being on a bus with a child and having to get off / fold the buggy when you're already wrecked would probably be one of those rotten days.

But it's one day. A good night's sleep and it's over and you're ready to face tomorrow.

I reckon if you're a wheelchair user then there must be a pretty high chance that every day you need to use public transport will be like that. Which of course may mean every day fullstop - people have to, shock horror, get to work!

gazzalw I hope if you ever have to fold your buggy for a wheelchair user, you will do so. Afterall, it will inconvenience you, but think of the wheelchair user who likely will be having the same fight with the next generation of buggy users a few years down the line when you're well passed the buggy stage.

Pantomimedam Tue 01-Jan-13 20:31:15

gazza, you appear to be imagining that parents and wheelchair users have equal rights of some kind. They don't. The spaces are wheelchair spaces. Parents managed before they existed and can manage perfectly well without them - maybe with some inconvenience but hey ho, parenting involves a lot of inconvenience. A little inconvenience to a parent. v. complete inability to get anywhere for a wheelchair user - you do the maths.

Claifairy Tue 01-Jan-13 20:38:27

Where I am the buses have spaces for both. There is ample space for 2 wheelchairs on one side and space for 2 buggies/prams on the other. There are also easy access seats the next row back both sides. We have lost the storage area so all bags have to be held but to be honest I don't think people would now leave bags out of sight!

I used to use these buses everyday going into a major city - at different times due to shift work - and have never seen a problem arise from lack of space.

We got our new buses 18 months ago so maybe this will be something that will be seen more widely when the different areas and companies update the buses.

These are Arriva buses too!

MrsDeVere Tue 01-Jan-13 20:40:08

gazza your posts are a interesting insight into your views on people with disability.

Hospitals, day centres, housing estates...

Dial a Ride.

'The Disabled' as other.

Pagwatch Tue 01-Jan-13 20:40:26


It is about people being able to live their lives.

And as an able bodied mother the possibility of having to get off the bus to make room for a wheelchair to go in the wheelchair space is a rare inconvenience in my otherwise sunny, forward- looking life.
For a wheelchair user trying to get access to their allotted sace is an issue every time they leave home.

So I should shut up, move and thank my lucky stars

5madthings Tue 01-Jan-13 20:45:21

Bloody hell i missed the post by rulebritannia on p6 about lots of bags and would they have to move them/get them off for a wheelchair user, if they were in the wheelchair space or blocking the way for ither passsengers of course you would have to move them. Its a space for a wheelchair user not a fucking luggage space!

ilovesooty Tue 01-Jan-13 20:47:02

No-one group should be disadvantaged at the expense of any other group IMHO. It is just as valid that a parent (but particularly mothers) can live their life as and when they want to do things as for an elderly person or someone in a wheelchair. And vice versa

Disability is a protected characteristc under the Equality Act. Being a parent with a buggy isn't. What part of that do you find difficult to comprehend?

Sirzy Tue 01-Jan-13 20:47:13

I've seen plenty floundering trying to keep older DCs under control, hold onto babies on lurching buses, watch their handbags etc

Ahh right, I get it. Because some parents are unorganised, or unable to control their children that makes it fine to leave disabled people sat in the rain until a bus comes along with parents who are capable of looking atfer their children!

DefinitelyNotMe Tue 01-Jan-13 20:47:41

Quite, MrsDeVere. And ...

For a wheelchair user trying to get access to their allotted sace is an issue every time they leave home.


Sunnywithshowers Tue 01-Jan-13 20:49:22


What makes you think that disabled people don't live in 'leafy, middle-class rural or suburban' areas?

threesocksmorgan Tue 01-Jan-13 20:49:51

dial a ride
someone else saying children have rights too
this thread will end badly

whathasthecatdonenow Tue 01-Jan-13 20:52:13

Being able to push your pram onto a bus without folding it up is a bonus that makes life a little bit easier.

Being able to access public transport can make life for a person with disabilities possible. Not easier. Just possible.

I don't understand how this is hard for some people to comprehend.

mellowcat Tue 01-Jan-13 20:59:49

I cannot face folding a buggy and carrying the baby and managing the shopping, therefore I walk...I'm lucky in that I have that choice.

greensnail Tue 01-Jan-13 21:13:30

We're lucky where I live I've never encountered a problem with this as everyone helps each other out. Whenever I've had a buggy on the bus and a wheelchair user wants to get on the bus driver gets up to help the buggies to fold then another passenger will hold the buggy and help lift it off the bus when needed so the parent can concentrate on keeping the children and any bags safe.

This works perfectly well and I've never seen anyone ever think to complain about having to move.

tethersjinglebellend Tue 01-Jan-13 21:13:30

The thing is, it doesn't have to be either/or.

Plenty of buses have space for both a wheelchair and buggies- wheelchair users and parents with buggies using public transport is the norm now. Public transport should therefore be designed to accommodate them.

Boomerwang Tue 01-Jan-13 21:27:28

Well, off the back of this thread I have selected a brand spanking new pushchair to use on the bus.

I have only found one review on mumsnet though, so I would appreciate any comments from those in the know about these things as to whether my choice is practical.

it's in swedish but it's a known brand.

Buses are free where I live and I only ever go two or three miles at the most. I've never met a wheelchair user and never seen more than two pushchairs/prams on at one time, but I still would prefer to fold up than get off.

I've bought a double where the carrycot clips off or you can attach the carseat to it so don't have to worry about where to put the baby when folding the pushchair.

But then I had my first 18 years ago and you had no choice but to fold the pushchair. I'm pretty sure we are lucky enough to be able to take pushchairs on to busses now because those with disabilities campaigned for the rights to have wheelchair accessible busses. I wouldn't dream of making someone in a wheelchair wait because I'm too unorganised to be able to fold my pushchair.

5madthings Tue 01-Jan-13 21:31:55

It looks fine for folding boomberang but I know people whom have used them and complained about the straps being fiddly, shouldn't be a problem for occasional use tho smile

TeWisBeenNargledByTheMistletoe Tue 01-Jan-13 21:35:03

Is that the POP? I loved mine. -- until MIL ran it over--

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Tue 01-Jan-13 21:36:52

I try to avoid getting the bus unless we're using the park and ride but:

1 and 5 - No, all 1 would do is move the discrimination from one group to another and 5 could result in other bus users taking matters into their own hands.

2,3 and 4 - Are fine with me - 4 - as long as there is a suitable alternative bus and no one is left waiting for ages. Could the onwards ticket be used on any bus regardless of the bus company? eg. If you can get another bus with a different company 20 mins before the next one with the original company

7 - only if 4 happens and there is a suitable alternative bus within a set time period either at the same stop or one close by. No one wants to have to wait ages for a bus regardless of whether that person is in a wheelchair or not.

elliejjtiny Tue 01-Jan-13 21:44:57

I have a 4 year old wheelchair user and a 2 year old buggy user amongst my children so I see both sides. Mostly the buggy users and wheelchair users in our town all manage to use the buses with nobody having to fold until the bus company in their wisdom decide to put a non accessible bus on our route and all hell breaks loose.

Wheelchair users take priority over buggies, no question about that.

Children using SN buggies should have the same priority as wheelchair users. I have tried folding an SN buggy before and it's a 2 person job plus another person to hold the child.

DLA high rate mobility is about £50 a week. Bus ticket for me and DS1 is about £50 a week. DS2 will be entitled to a free bus pass when he is 5 but only valid after 9am, not a lot of use for the journey to school.

Although parents with buggies should fold for a wheelchair user, I think the bus drivers should be more accomodating. Tutting and huffing from the bus driver is not helpful when you're trying to fold a buggy.

I also think there should be some sort of allowances made for people who have milder disabilities eg people who struggle more than others to fold up a buggy because of arthritis or children like my DS3 who is not really disabled but as he is 2 and can only walk about 5 steps it does make things trickier.

Dawndonna If you need more people to complain to first bus or any other help please pm me. My DS2 is only 4 but already he has very strong opinions about wheelchairs and buses.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 01-Jan-13 21:47:19

This buggy is suitable from birth its easily one handed foldable and quite light as well as being small when folded.but robust.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Tue 01-Jan-13 21:48:15

1. Prohibit prams on board
2. Get drivers to ask passengers to fold down their buggies before they board the bus.
3. Get drivers to warn passengers each time they board the bus that they will have to fold their buggies and/or vacate the bus if a wheelchair user wishes to board.
4. Offer passengers with buggies onwards tickets if a wheelchair user wishes to board and buggy cannot be folded down.
5. Refuse access to buggies, prams and pushchairs which cannot be folded.
6. Refuse to continue the bus journey until the passenger with the buggy moves from the wheelchair space.
7. Insist the passenger with the buggy leaves the bus if a wheelchair user wishes to board and buggy cannot be folded down.
8. Refit buses so they have both wheelchair AND buggy spaces just like many other bus companies have done

no.4 should be standard practice anyway. If you've voluntarily vacated the bus to make room for another person, you shouldn't have to fork out again to complete the rest of your journey.

CalamityJ Tue 01-Jan-13 21:48:49

I visited a friend in an electric wheelchair in London a few months ago. We caught three buses from the shopping centre to her home and each and every one was a nightmare. Firstly we couldn't get on the first 2 buses (at stop 1) as there were pushchairs in front of us in the queue (fair enough) but then another pushchair tried to get on in front of us and I argued that we should be let on first. The bus driver rolled his eyes but did let us on first.

The second bus was better as there was no pushchair occupying the space but the bus driver was arsey about people moving out of the aisle to let my friend through in her chair (she's an awesome driver of her chair!).

The third would have been a nightmare but it was dark, raining, 60 mins into the journey and I'd got bolshy after my previous 2 buses. A pushchair was in the space and I spoke to the driver and said wheelchairs take priority (as per the signs). He said "what do you want me to do about it?". Well, getting off your bum and asking the couple if they would mind folding the pushchair would be a start! So I popped to the couple and said would they mind moving the pushchair so my friend could park in the space and then I thought the pushchair would fit in the space at the end of my friend's wheelchair. They were more than happy to move it (unlike the idiots standing in the middle of the aisle who would not move back to let my friend on until another, equally bolshy women told them all to move). So my friend parked on a sixpence, the couple move the pushchair back into the space and the bus merrily went on its way - no thanks to the bus driver.

I can understand why people who use wheelchairs hate using public transport. As a mum to be I completely understand the position of mums but buggies can be folded down (with help if there are nice people on the bus/decent bus drivers). My friend's electric wheelchair can't. Buggies not being folded is a matter of convenience; the vast majority of people who use wheelchairs can't get out and have them folded. And electric wheelchairs there's no chance. The spaces are for wheelchair users or buggies if no wheelchair user needs them and bus driver should enforce that common sense policy. So both number 3 and number 4 make sense to me.

Rosa Tue 01-Jan-13 21:49:39

They need to find a solution to accomodate both...a previous poster says her buses have spaces for 2 wheelchairs and 2 buggies.. Not expecting buses to magic out of space but its something to work towards...

mymatemax Tue 01-Jan-13 21:53:46

It's elf & Safety! Never used to be a problem, all the pushchairs, shopping bags on wheels etc would just budge up &squash up.
Nobody had allocated spaces & the driver would just yell... "move down a bit".

Don't get the same problen on the tube, everyone is just rammed in.
DS2's wheelchair was entangled with a large pushchair on the district line a few weeks ago all with someone's arse in his face... Now thats equality wink

Boomerwang Tue 01-Jan-13 21:57:02

That's a lovely chair, sock but I tried to buy it and they won't send it to Sweden. Booo!

5dcsandallthelittlesantahats Tue 01-Jan-13 22:02:52

boomerwang- I have this,default,pd.html

It looks bigger than it is but it fold inwards like the silver cross one but also folds in half the other way like this

so on the buses here (where there is no luggage area) I can fit it by my legs at the front of a seat. My old silver cross one was too long and I wasnt allowed it folded as it stuck into the aisle.

I love my little buggy for the bus although if you put more than a single light bag onto it it tips up grin.

like I said earlier blue badge = disabled space on bus

nooka Tue 01-Jan-13 22:29:38

I had my children more than 10 years ago so was in the era when you couldn't take an unfolded buggy on the bus, and you certainly couldn't take a pram. I didn't drive then and had a 16mth gap between my children so did have a period of having a tiny baby and a toddler and using public transport quite extensively. I used an umbrella buggy and a sling, and then a buggy board.

So in effect the following were in practice:
1. Prohibit prams on board
2. Get drivers to ask passengers to fold down their buggies before they board the bus.
5. Refuse access to buggies, prams and pushchairs which cannot be folded.

I still managed to use public transport. It was a bit tricky, and occasionally quite scary, but totally possible. For wheelchair users at that time it was however totally impossible. they simply couldn't use most buses at all.

I'd like to see: 3,4,5 and 7 enforced, but think if wheelchair users are still denied access to public transport because some parents refuse to follow the rules then 4 and 2 may be necessary, or devantenigma's suggestion re blue badges.

Which would be a shame because then there would be an empty space and the majority of responsible buggy users would lose out because of the inconsiderate actions of a few.

nooka Tue 01-Jan-13 22:32:58

Oh and perhaps one more thing, when selling 'travel systems' buyers should be advised that larger prams/buggies can't be taken on public transport. I think it is the ridiculous size of many current prams/buggies is a significant part of the problem.

The trouble with making buses give more and more space to buggies is that it means less seats and space for everyone else. Given the choice most bus companies wouldn't have wheelchair spaces after all.

ihearsounds Tue 01-Jan-13 23:03:23

Or every bus company provide an additional bus, say every hour, or 2 hours depending on location/need etc. After a proper trial it should be easy to determine an average.

Anyway, so this bus would be in addition to current buses with wheelchair access. However, this extra bus would have fold up seats, and priority would be wheelchairs/buggies/shopping trollies.

The original bus would obviously still run, but with an addition of some type of gate blocking the wheelchair area. Only way to open is with the equivalent of a blue badge for transport.

Or better still because the bus company would up the cost to passengers. Forget the extra bus and just put up a barrier, only open if you have the blue badge type card.

Self involved precious parents would soon learn to use common sense when buying buggy and buy something compact rather than mini cars that are currently used.

sashh Tue 01-Jan-13 23:05:25

Maybe there should be a different fare for people who fold their buggy, maybe 75% of full fare if you fold and you pay 100% if you don't.

Although then people might start taking empty buggies with them to get a cheaper fare.

Sunnywithshowers Tue 01-Jan-13 23:07:52

devientenigma not everyone who uses a wheelchair has / wants a blue badge. It's bleedingly obvious from the wheelchair they use that they need the wheelchair space, surely?

sashh - good idea. 100% for everyone but 150% for an unfolded buggy.

It's not always obvious. Plus is it makes it an easier/fairer system so be it. I had to fold my SN buggy down and lie my heavy son on the floor (unable to sit) while I dismantled his heavy disabled buggy, lugged in all his extra gear on top of what an average toddler needs, to get a seat. Then go back and pick him and the oxygen tank he was attached to, while getting the stares, tuts and comments before the bus could pull away and again when we left for our already late cardiology appointment.

Bearfrills Tue 01-Jan-13 23:56:01

I'm a buggy user and I 100% agree that wheelchair users should get priority for the space on the bus but don't think that options 1, 2 or 5 are the answer and that the other options are the ones that would be most workable and fair - basically if the space is free then a buggy user should be able to use it regardless of buggy type, etc however if a wheelchair user (including adapted pushchairs for disabled children) needs the space then the buggy user should have to either collapse their buggy or leave the bus with an onward journey ticket from the driver.

I have a P&T Dot, it used to be DD and DS using it but now it's just DD, we have no plans to get rid of it as it'll be used as a double again at some point. Where we live is semi-rural and we do a lot of walking as well as using the bus. We've had lightweight strollers before but I have an old back injury from a car accident that was "fully healed" 12-18 months after but in reality flares up from time to time and I can't use an umbrella stroller for ages and ages, short trips and tiny DD only. Our main bus company is Arriva North East, the company mentioned in the letter.

When I take my P&T on the bus if the space is empty, I use it. If the space is full I either collapse the pushchair or I wait for the next bus (usually with DD and DS and shopping it's just easier to wait for the next one). If I'm on the bus, in the space, and a wheelchair user needs the space then I either collapse the buggy or I get off the bus. So there, not every buggy user is an inconsiderate twat. Maybe it's where I live or the route I use but I've never seen anyone refuse to get out of the space for a wheelchair user, reading some of the stories here I see that isn't the norm however on some of occasions where I've collapsed the buggy other passengers have tutted and muttered at me for collapsing the buggy and tutted and muttered at the wheelchair user for making me move even though I was happy to. You can't please some people.

The only time I haven't collapsed the buggy or gotten off for a wheelchair user was on one occasion where I got to the doors and the man in the wheelchair saw I had a newborn and a toddler, on my own, winter, getting dark and insisted I stay on the bus while I insisted he get on the bus. He told me to "get the bairns away home, it's too cold for them to be sitting in a bus stop waiting for the next bus".

OP, maybe you should copy a link to this thread to the Facebook post?

exactly Bear, it's all down to common decency and courtesy as well as need

manicbmc Wed 02-Jan-13 00:03:10

You 'up North', Bear? I've never seen any trouble on the buses up here either.

I'm up North and you just need to look at my earlier post to realise it happens

Sunnywithshowers Wed 02-Jan-13 00:05:36

Point taken about SN buggies devientenigma. I forget that people don't always realise that children are in buggies because they have SN.

I think they should count as 'wheelchairs' for the purposes of travelling in a bus. I'm sure many people in a wheelchair wouldn't want you to have to turf your DS out of his buggy so they can have a space.

I wouldn't mind if there was a little help Sunny. He's too challenging and complex now to even use public transport. His risk assessment is ridiculous and you need to be away within so many feet of him meaning you can't sit next to him in the car and he is in the 3rd of a people carrier due to putting the driver at risk.

Bearfrills Wed 02-Jan-13 00:09:36

I am 'up North' (DH likes to make geeky references about us being 'north of the wall grin). I realise it happens and reading some of the stories here I feel lucky that I apparently live somewhere nice where people are decent to one another at least most of the time

manicbmc Wed 02-Jan-13 00:09:41

Devient, in your position, I would have refused based on the fact that the space was occupied by someone disabled already - your ds.

Luckily where I am there's space for a wheelchair and for 2 buggies.

must say he's a wheelchair user now, on to our 3rd wheelchair and he's only nearly 12

manicbmc Wed 02-Jan-13 00:12:06

And I do understand about the driver risk thing, having a severely autistic 18 year old who cannot be anywhere near the driver as he tends to attack from behind. No way could he cope (or would it be safe) on public transport, as he needs 3 to 1 care.

Bit like the buses here Manic from what I remember. The space wasn't occupied by DS although I could of done without the hassle lol, mind after that, which was hard work and basically I felt sorry for my son who has a low immune system and a heart and lung condition to be lying on a dirty floor, I started taking his blue badge and argued the toss.

oh Manic, can I ask what school he attended, we are struggling to find one and DS has been out of it for 3 year now. We have looked at 5 boroughs. Inbox me if you feel like telling me, understand if not.

manicinsomniac Wed 02-Jan-13 00:18:47

I think there should be an established heirachy of need that is up in the busses and widely known. If a person higher up the list wants to voluntarily give way to someone lower down it then that would be their choice but nobody lower down the list would be allowed to refuse the space to someone above them. That might be too simplistic when you have to take things like last bus of the night and rural areas into account but I think it would work the majority of the time.

My heirachy would be:
1) Adult essential wheelchair users
2) Adults in wheelchairs who are able to sit on a seat and fold
3) Children in wheelchairs
4) SN Buggies
5) Buggies 'manned' by disabled parents
6) Buggies that don't fold
7) Buggies containing sleeping children
8) Large and heavy luggage
9) Buggies containing awake children
10) Less heavy luggage
11) Empty Buggies

yggdrasil Wed 02-Jan-13 00:20:25

I'm actually not sure what I think here

I think wheelchair users absolutely do need priority over buggy users in the normal run of the mill, unless the parent or child has a disability which means that the buggy is needed.

At the same time, I do think parents and young children do need to be able to use buses. Its a number of years since any of my three were in a buggy, but I do remember how hard it was sometimes to fold the buggy (I had a maclaren, so really easy to fold). Basically, if one or both kids were asleep, what do you do? And also, what do you actually do with the baby while you are folding the buggy, assuming you are not super organised with a spare sling to hand? (the images I have now of mumsnet super-sling-mum...). And say you have foolishly had three or four children, and foolishly perhaps not left an optimal seventeen years between kids, what do you do with the other kid who is haring towards the back of the bus.

What I did was chicken out and drive. But if the buses hadn't been so unremittingly shit about letting buggy users on, I'd have used buses far more.

I think the mistake here is to pitch buggy users against wheelchair users. I think a better approach is to say, there are these spaces which are priority spaces for wheelchair users and we are going to make sure that they have them to use. Now (assuming this is resolved to everyone's satisfaction), what are we going to do to make buses an easier and nicer place for young families?

but that puts my situation at no 4 when realistically no 2 could fold and sit in a seat possibly easier than me, just an example

manicinsomniac Wed 02-Jan-13 00:28:25

true. I was thinking of the size of the child for lifting/lying as oppose to an adult needing help moving/walking. Do you know how unusual your situation is with the oxygen? I'm guessing most children small enough for an SN buggy could just be lifted?

I think yours would be a situation where any decent person would see that you were in greater need.

I agree it's bloody complicated though!

lol, it's common but that could be having been in the position myself. Plus lifting a 2 year old who can't weight bear, severe hypotonia etc is lifting dead weight, whereas the person who could 'shuffle' and weight bear for a moment to switch is still easier. His old pead I bumped into last year said the thing I remember about your DS as a baby was how the hell did you lift him lol, we only saw him till DS was a year.

SN buggies can hold up to 50kg so not always going to have easily lifted occupants.

manicinsomniac Wed 02-Jan-13 00:44:51

50kg!!! Blimey, that's heavier than me! Okay, I'd move 2 down to 4 and put 2 and 3 at equal priority then. Sorry about that (good thing my heirarchy is just one ignoramus posting hypothetically isn't it!)

Kayano Wed 02-Jan-13 01:25:12

I didn't even this was going on and this is my local bus company (to the poster above, I pretty much live on the wall!

I haven't read the full thread but you can't refuse people with prams and unfold able buggies if there is no wheelchair needing the space though? Just let them on on the condition they get off sharpish if the space is needed

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Wed 02-Jan-13 01:32:01

Manic - why did you put 'Children in wheelchairs' after adults in foldable wheelchairs?

My replies are based on the bus having a space to put a folded buggy. If they don't, then really - it has to be first come, first served doesn't it? Otherwise public transport becomes inaccesible to a different sector of society - which is also unacceptable.

1. Ridiculous
2. Also ridiculous, why create a problem where none exists? Why make someone fold down a buggy until the space is actually needed?
3. A little insulting for those of us with half a brain, but worth it to warn the idiots.
4. goes without saying surely?
5. Ridiculous again
6. Fine - provided there isn't a good reason for it not to be folded (ie parent or child with a disability/SN)
7. Fine - once again, if there isn't a damn good reason not to

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 01:34:02

I avoid travelling on the bus with young children whenever I can because there isn't much space on them and the twins have gone on foot for a long time now but these rules would have massively affected me after the twins were born. Ds1 was 4 had just started school which was 2 miles away, the twins had feeding problems and I had dd1 who was three. I had no way of avoiding the bus to pick ds1 up from school, I could not have walked to school because of needing to feed the babies and really because I was not physically fit enough due to the pregnancy to manage even with dd1 on the buggy board, ds could not have managed to walk home, he was already crashing out when he got home. It was only for a short period of my life but what would you have liked me to do? Put the newborn twins on the wet floor whilst I turned away leaving them and dd/ds unsupervised and folded the pram which I would have then put where exactly? Been late to pick up ds? Not picked him up at all?

Our arriva buses have one pram and one wheelchair space, the pram space is not designed for and not safe for a wheelchair it is meant for prams I don't see why that isn't the solution to the problem? People forget that actually it is just a problem with ordinary life that even able bodied people can't get on a bus when it is full, the same is true for disabled people and people with prams, it shouldn't always be prams who have to actually be asked to get off the bus so a wheelchair can get on, this may well put children at risk and it is much easier for anyone to organise alternative transport. It is one vulnerable group over another.

Many years ago when people with prams couldn't use buses there were local shops and local hospitals that you actually could walk to, they do not exist anymore. If you don't drive and need mat services or paed a&e your only option is the bus which is irregular, takes an hour, runs through rural areas to the hospital 8 miles away. If you want specialist children's hospital treatment you have to travel 50 miles on three buses, people do make these journeys by bus, often people on low incomes. I can't believe some people would be so callous as to say the rule should be that a family should be chucked off the bus, potentially in the middle of nowhere, with no buses for an hour and no idea where they even are... Think it through, not everyone lives in London where alternatives are easy to arrange, it is a damn sight easier for someone to make an alternative arrangement at the start of the journey than at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere potentially with young children who could easily come to grief as a result.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 01:40:33

(And there is no need if arriva simply fitted their buses out like they have them here with a space for a wheelchair and a space for a pram/two buggies).

manicinsomniac Wed 02-Jan-13 01:58:33

chippingin - I was thinking about size, weight and the dignity of an adult. But I didn't take dead weight into account so I'd put them higher now.

Damash12 Wed 02-Jan-13 02:01:35

Firstly, I didn't realise the spaces where for wheelchair use only. I have always thought they are for pram/ wheelchair and in a first cone first serve basis and sorry hit that's how I think it should be. If I pay over £5 to go into town with a newborn to say 18 month why should I be made to put pram down or get off?? I've paid, I need the space just as much as a disable/ wheelchair user does. It would be impossible to collapse a pram, hold the bag and baby and then be expected to sit holding baby with no restraint. Now ok let's say at toddler age and with a buggy it would be easier and possible to do this so out of common courtesy I would but I would be bloody annoyed if asked to get off a bus when the child was in a carrycot/ extremely young. What if the baby was due his next feed or I needed to get back to pick up dc 1 from school?? What am I supposed to do, leave everywhere an hour earlier than expected just in case a wheelchair user may decide to get on. Sorry, but I think it's unfair to be totally a black and white issue, IMO

Sunnywithshowers Wed 02-Jan-13 02:05:50

Damash wheelchair users have a right in law to use the space. So whether you like it or not, you should move.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 02:16:52

Damash, its not impossible at all what do you think parents did before busses had wheelchair spaces?

MissCoffeeNWine Wed 02-Jan-13 02:47:45

I think paying a fare for an unfolded buggy is a good way of increasing space for everyone on the bus and reducing the amount of times this is an issue, as well as introducing the idea of folding to people who previously wouldn't have considered it. If each time a parent left the house they considered whether their buggy use was truly necessary there would be a lot fewer buggies everywhere clogging up not just buses but streets cafes events etc. They're everywhere! Often holding a tiny scrap of a thing or a pile of coats whilst the child who 'needs' it tears around on foot. If we could decrease reliance on prams and pushchairs it would become less and less of an issue - as would the whole prams in disabled loo debate. But then what would MN talk about I suppose...

StinkyWicket Wed 02-Jan-13 02:59:08

I would find it very difficult to get about if I wasn't allowed to take my buggy on a bus (twins and a baby) but I would NEVER take up a space needed by a wheelchair user. I was refused to get on a Stagecoach when my twins were very little - which made me cry, incidentally - as the driver told me the space was for wheelchairs only. There were two spaces. I told him I would get off if someone else needed it. I had to collect DSS from school and literally had no other way to get there.

Different now, but I couldn't have folded a twin pram by myself, plus carry any shopping and the children.

MissCoffeeNWine - how exactly does one decrease reliance on pushchairs? I don't have a car so I need to use public transport.

holidaysarenice Wed 02-Jan-13 03:08:51

but don't wheelchair users receive travel expenses so that they can use a taxi?

The way I took this was for things like hospital appts, where wheelchair users can have access to provided transport or the cost of a taxi.

Also some do get mobility benefit, or IS if received gives money for appropriate transport to hospitals/opticians etc

Also some councils do run this scheme my nana used to get a taxi provided x times a month. Not sure if they still exist or notm

holidaysarenice Wed 02-Jan-13 03:10:51

I think paying a fare for an unfolded buggy is a good way of increasing space for everyone on the bus and reducing the amount of times this is an issue

I like this idea, free to fold, charge if not!

Sunnywithshowers Wed 02-Jan-13 03:42:38

What makes me sad about a lot of these responses is how people don't seem to help each other.

I'd be happy to help if someone needs to fold their pushchair - I'm good for holding babies / toddlers / shopping.

Pagwatch Wed 02-Jan-13 07:58:34


It s a black and white issue. It's a wheelchair space so figure out how to cope.

Pagwatch Wed 02-Jan-13 08:00:10

I agree Sunny. But then you get the nutters mothers who will not let another passenger hold their baby for 20 seconds because that is apparently unacceptable confused

SirBoobAlot Wed 02-Jan-13 08:34:01

Damash - you do what those of us with disabilities have to do, and plan ahead that some arsehole person might not move to allow us on, so leave early. <smiles sweetly>

Holiday - that scheme certainly doesn't exist around here. And the thing with saying that DLA or IS give money towards taxis... It doesn't arrive divided up. You get X amount through, and have to live on it. I have to use taxis at times when I am really ill (be it pain, fatigue or mental health) and it then means that I have to watch my own food consumption and how much I use gas and electric to balance it out. Even if you receive the highest rates available, it is barely enough to live on. Factor in needing to get a taxi a few times a month, and you are screwed, frankly.

On the other side of things, I don't think it is fair to charge for a buggy. Being aware of my own financial situation, I am also aware of those that some of the young mums from my old under 21s antenatal group used to go to. Especially those under 16, who were unable to claim any benefits because of their age. They got a bus once a week - because the group gave out free day travel tickets to get you to and from.

And even those just on a normal budget, things are tight. You start charging people to get out of the house, you are practically pushing a lot of people into PND without an option.

hazeyjane Wed 02-Jan-13 08:46:22

Can I just add (I know I posted this earlier on the thread, but just a reminder!) that if there were some sort of charge for buggies, that some sort of label or sign to explain that the child in the buggy is disabled (at ds's special needs nursery there is only one child that uses a wheelchair, all the other children are in 'normal' pushchairs) would be useful.

In the past when ds and I have caught the bus, I have had to fold our pushchair, because someone with a baby in a pram, was in the wheelchair space, because he is in a 'normal'pushchair, despite being disabled.

MrsDeVere Wed 02-Jan-13 08:50:06

damash it's NOT impossible.
Lots of us have done it.
Impossible is...oh I don't know...a wheelchair user with access to transport being able to live a normal, independant life.

Folding up a buggy is a bit tricky.

Time for people to grow up a bit.
Far to many child-adults around in my crusty old opinion.
Can't go shopping with out a special parking space, can't get on a bus without a special place.

Let's not get real progress i.e. maternity leave, feeding areas, mixed up with nice extras hmm

Charging for buggies is not fair because thy don't charge for shoppers and suitcases.
Parents with small children need consideration and assistance. There is just not room for big prams at the expense of wheelchairs and SN buggies.

Doesn't this just illustrate the problem.

It must be quite difficult to post on a thread with 200-plus posts without reading the OP or subsequent comments fully (or reading them but deciding what you 'always thought' must be right instead). Maybe if you do that, you also never read the very short notices up in the bus explaining that the space is priority for wheelchair users?

But it is there, that note.

Because of MN (well, I'd like to think otherwise, but definitely MN makes me grin at myself when it happens), I do sometimes end up offering people on buses help to sort out the buggy. I always get politely busy 'no, thanks, I can do it - done!' replies.

Damash12 Wed 02-Jan-13 09:00:46

So a child needs to in a car seat up until the age of 11 but it's ok to be freely plonked on a seat on a bus. Gladly the area I live doesn't have this rule and there is usually space at the front for 4 prams, 2 wheelchairs or mixture of both. Maybe the issue should be the design of the bus to accommodate. And what's the point in referring to when it wasn't possible to take on prams. When was the the 60's?? I do have sympathy but still stand by that it's unfair and IS NOT black and white! If its a toddler in a buggy fine - collapse and fold and move to another seat. If its a pram with v young infant tough! They should be able to stay on and get home or to wherever they had planned to go like everybody else. We all have important lives!

Damash you need a sensible buggy for the bus. I had two buggies - a big walking one, comfortable to push (single then twin) which i used most if the time - and meant I walked rather than took the bus (good for shifting baby weight as well). Then I had a v cheap small easy to fold buggy for the bus ( didn't even bother trying to get on with twin one). When babes were too small for cheap buggy I used a sling.

Lots of choice that disabled people don't have.

I'm always slightly stunned by the lack of imagination which means people compare the 'difficulties' of able bodied parenting with having a disability.

Are people really that clueless/self centred?

5madthings Wed 02-Jan-13 09:08:15

No damash if you have a pushchair with s child of any age and a wheelchair user needs the space then yoi fold up the pushchair. Get someone to help with bags or baby if necessary and then hold baby on your lap. Carseat rules are not applicable on buses so i dont know why you are quoting those.

Just because you 'always thought' it was wheelchair or buggy space dies not mean that is the case. It's a wheelchair space enshrined in law and hard fought for. They've only been around 17 years or so.

There's no issue having a buggy in them if no one else wants the space. But if a wheelchair user wants it then damn well fold! Some people are so (shudders cos I hate this word) ENTITLED.

damash - but we all need seatbelts in a car and not a bus. It's not a valid comparison you're making.

People have suggested that it'd be good if buses were redesigned to have space for buggies and wheelchairs.

Where do you live, btw? confused None of my beeswax, obviously, it's just I've not been anywhere in England where wheelchairs don't have priority over people who're not disabled.

I always wonder how on earth people who make such a meal out of travelling on bus manage when facing real challenges.

Sirzy Wed 02-Jan-13 09:11:24

Why can't you do something really odd like HOLD your baby on the bus so that someone else who needs that space can come on?

JakeBullet Wed 02-Jan-13 09:16:41

The other issue here is that the wheelchair user might not be able to just want for another bus. They DO have extra needs over and above the able bodied parent of a child.....however young that child might be.

Be sensible I say and have a light weight buggy for bus trips. Many buggies are now suitable from birth.

Yes it might be a pain to have to sort everything out to make room for the wheelchair user but I am betting you wouldn't choose to swap places.

There is a world of difference between able bodied parent and a disabled wheelchair user. It shocks me that so many people can't seem to appreciate this.

Sirzy didn't you see? Holding the baby on your lap means they're not restrained. Sod the fact a wheelchair user is having to wait in the wet and/or cold as they haven't been able to access the bus due to her actions.

AmberSocks Wed 02-Jan-13 09:17:20

i havnt read the thread from start to finish so sorry if its been brought up but....

why would a disabled person be more important than someone with a pushchair?(and vice versa)

surely we are all just people who are all equal,i dont see why the space cant just be for wheelchairs and pushchairs,just whoever gets on first?

why does one person take priority over another?

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 02-Jan-13 09:20:03


Amber - a person in a wheelchair can't fold it up to make space for both the person with the pushchair and themselves. The person with the pushchair can.

It's not that bloody hard or difficult to understand!

If the pushchair uses folds the ruddy thing then it can be for both.

And a pushchair user really won't fold they do have a choice of walking (read Sons & Lovers to discover how far people used to walk). Not all obviously but a chunk of bus journeys are walkable.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 09:23:31

Will some of you please think about what the consequences of these "rules" would be.

And sir boob wtf? If you have a pram you already have to approach buses in that way. These rules make it so that people with prams simply can't use buses at all and I fail to see why that is fair.

There is no such thing as "a sensible buggy" for using a bus with twin babies. It isn't just the babies that make it impossible to fold, it is the other children and the need to rely on people helping you. Yes; I am "one of those" people who doesn't want just anyone to hold my children, I'm pretty sure the bus company wouldn't allow it either, mainly I don't want to be forced to rely on other people helping me because on the whole they won't. I don't see why it is necessary if there is a. No wheelchair on the bus and b. no need if all buses had both a wheelchair and a pram space.

You are asking that prams be banned from the bus, with twins a 3 and 4 year old that means I couldn't have used the bus whether or not a disabled person even wanted to get on.

Asking that all prams be folded, this is simply not possible, you know people would then bang on about "selfish" mothers who expected others to supervise their children and you know the bus driver would not have time to wait for all the carrying and loading and unloading and sitting down, plus it would not be possible for me to hold two babies and supervise two toddlers at the same time on the bus and how do I get off?

You want people with prams to get off which would lead to people travelling to hospital appointments through rural areas here where the bus only comes once an hour being dumped in the middle of nowhere with small children and nothing to do other than wait an hour for the next bus with small children near to the road and no guarantee that on the hospital route you could actually get the next bus.

When I was in this position I'm sure I appeared to be perfectly normal although I was bleeding extremely heavily for 6 months because of the huge size of the placenta and if I had walked 4 miles to school everyday a. I would have haemorrhaged and b. it would have been too difficult to feed the babies and get a tired ds1 home as dd was already on the buggy board.

In most of the situations buses will exclude families and disabled people will not even use the bus. If buses have a pram space this problem is eliminated completely without any of the crap consequences.

As I said before, 20 years ago when I was a child and prams were big and parents couldn't use buses we had local shops and a local hospital. We also had a much more frequent/better bus service AND people in wheelchairs could not get the bus. We don't have that anymore but I fail to see why it is ok to compare how life would be back then without using a bus to now, it is completely different.

Sirzy Wed 02-Jan-13 09:25:35

why would a disabled person be more important than someone with a pushchair?(and vice versa)

Where would you like me to start?

First of all it's not about being more important, it's about being able to access facilities, and in this case facilities which have been designed to make life possible for people with disabilities.

Parents have choices. They can make sure their pram in easy to collapse, they can use a sling, they can walk. Someone who is disabled, or who has a disabled child doesn't have those choices.

Having a young child is an inconvenience for a few years, a disability makes things hard for life.

You really can't compare the two

amber - a disabled person isn't 'more important', they just have a greater need.

If you're in a wheelchair, you don't have the option to make room for someone with a buggy and a baby, except by getting off the bus. Added to that, if you get off the bus, you are more likely to be stranded - much of the tube is inaccesible by wheelchair, and in some places you can't even easily go and get a coffee in the warm while you wait, because the place nearest the bus stop isn't always accessible.

If you've got a buggy, you can fold it up and make room, or take the tube, or go upstairs - you've got far more options.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 02-Jan-13 09:31:58

I don't see any problem with the proposals and I have small children.

In many years I've only ever been on a bus at the same time as a wheelchair once, and there was enough space (flip-up seat areas) and it was quiet enough that I didn't even have to fold buggy anyway!

If I had had to it would have been mildly inconvenient for me for a few minutes. That's it. Out of my entire life. You don't HAVE to get off the bus because a wheelchair gets on - you have to fold your buggy and get over yourself if that means asking for help when'd you'd rather not. Having to fold your buggy up is no big deal. There are no long term consequences, it is nothing, barely even an anecdote worth mentioning when you get home.

But if YOU were in that wheelchair, having to wait in the rain while bus after bus of buggy users refused to fold their pushchairs down and missing your hospital appointment, or being so late to get to work every day that you got fired you'd probably think a bit differently.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 09:34:13

It isn't though it is about disabled people being more important because this rule change seeks to ban pushchairs from buses whether a disabled person wants to use the space or not "just in case" or makes families get off buses for disabled people.

It is not that black and white people with prams often have just as much need of the bus as a disabled person as demonstrated by all the examples given; sn children, birth injuries/recovery, large families etc. They also struggle to make other arrangements, for the same reasons, and fact is disabled people and people with prams both know they have to allow extra time for a journey to add in in case they can't get on the bus, as I know as a person who now sometimes gets the bus without a pram, certain buses are too full of school children to let any passengers on - are they going to make them move or just vulnerable families?

It is also much much easier and safer to make different arrangements to travel at the beginning of your journey than at a random bus stop half way. This is a great plan to further isolate vulnerable mothers who are already disadvantaged by not having a car.

Bearfrills Wed 02-Jan-13 09:36:02

The bus company Go North East/Go-ahead have recently started running a bus service where I live (we literally have three bus services, it's crap). Their buses have a wheelchair space on one side and a pushchair space on the other, each bay has a big picture on the floor to clearly mark what it's for.

One afternoon I was in the buggy space and a man with a walking frame and a lady in a wheelchair were in the wheelchair space. Another lady tried to get on in her wheelchair and the driver told her the space was full. I offered to move from the buggy space and was told that while it was appreciated there was no need because the pushchair space is smaller than the wheelchair space and so the aisle would be blocked by the sticking out wheelchair. I've also been on that service where the buggy bay is full so I've parked in the wheelchair space on the understanding that I'd move if need be.

Why can't more bus companies have these buses with two bays? They seem like a fair compromise. I do agree that people with buggies/small children need access to buses too (although not that it should be at the expense of disabled people) and a blanket ban on buggies would only serve to isolate people, particularly women on maternity leave and those in rural areas.

Also, not to add fuel to the fire but a bus driver once told me that for safety reasons in case of an accident it is by far preferable that infants are strapped into a pushchair that is securely parked with the brake on. We were in a near-miss earlier last year where the driver had to slam the brakes on at speed. Lots of people came out of their seats due to it. DS was on DHs knee in the seat behind me and was crushed between DH and the seat, hitting his head on the bar on top of the seat in front. I was in the very front seat and hit the wall in front of me, as the seat folded up when I left it I then hit the floor and the lady next to me half-landed on top of me. DD was in her pushchair and was fine, if it had been folded she'd have been on my knee. This is the main reason that I prefer to get off and wait for the next bus if a wheelchair user needs the space and also why I think buses should have two bays, one for each group.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 09:38:46

It isn't any different people with prams have to sit in the rain missing hospital appointments and work because there is no room, so do able bodied people sometimes, and frankly the problem would be solved without the crap consequences of having buses that are refusing access to families but not being used by disabled people 90% of the time or families being dumped in a field in the middle of winter with no idea where they are, if buses where simply built how they are here with a disabled space and a pram space.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 02-Jan-13 09:39:35

It only suggests people whose buggys can't be folded get off the bus.

Who seriously buys a buggy that can't be folded at all and takes it on the bus? You'd have to be a complete idiot! There are hundreds of foldable buggies - including doubles, and very few that don't fold at all these days.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 02-Jan-13 09:40:45

It isn't the same as everyone else because it is much, much more likely to happen to a wheelchair user.

They are WHEELCHAIR spaces, and always have been. Tough shit if you don't like the rules.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 09:44:51

Tewi - people who have back problems and who otherwise walk a lot, people who are on a budget and need a multi-use pram or have to just take what they are given.

Plus not everyone could fold a pram anyway even if they had a folding pram, then where do you store it and how do you get off the bus? The bus driver already drives off if you have small children who have to wait for the bus to stop before they stand up because the drivers are under huge pressure to stick to the timetable and they also are not allowed to help you with children/prams.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 09:45:26

What is wrong with having a pram space and a wheelchair space as the solution?

Sirzy Wed 02-Jan-13 09:46:08

You let other people help you.

If you have a bad back you can sit on a seat on the bus.

It still doesn't compare to the struggles on someone with a disability.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 09:46:23

And bollocks is it more likely to happen to a wheelchair user, do you actually know any wheelchair users?

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 02-Jan-13 09:49:39

I was stony broke when I had my DD, I was given a not-very practical pram - it was a pita, but it folded if necessary. Eventually I bought a cheap but practical umbrella fold.

Every pushchair I have ever seen at a charity shop has folded.

You are bolshy and you tell the driver to wait if you need to. You ask for help if you need. You're an adult, you don't need to be babied and you shouldn't expect to be. Part of being an adult is owning up and asking for help sometimes. And yes I have sometimes asked other bus users if they would hold the baby, it has never been a problem and it is the grown up and sensible thing to do.

Are you an adult or not? Stop making excuses.

and what pram have you got that doesn't fold??

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 09:50:16

I don't think other people would be able to help, they are all elderly where we live because the buses are off puttingly expensive. I don't think you can rely on people to help.

If you have a bad back you may very well injure yourself hulking the pram/children around on a moving bus or simply just not be able to do it and to top it all it isn't very safe.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 09:51:26

The pram folds, that isn't the issue, the issue is it contained twin babies and I had also a 3 and 4 year old.

Bearfrills Wed 02-Jan-13 09:51:36

Agree that drivers attitudes would need to change too and those who see their bus as their own private kingdom would need a swift kick up the backside from management. They'd also have to be allowed to help if need be and luggage racks would need to be reinstated.

On more than one occasion where I've said I'll collapse my buggy I've moved into the aisle to let the wheelchair user into the space and then the driver has instantly pulled away leaving me in the aisle trying to collapse a buggy on a moving bus with a toddler and a baby. Thank goodness they're like old lady bait and I get lots of offers of "I'll hold them for you, dear" or I'd be knacked!

I've also had drivers refuse to let me on even though the space is empty just in case a wheelchair user needs to get on. When I've said I'll move if they do, no because it'll take too long. Well I'll collapse it now then. No, it'll take too long <drives off> I put a complaint in about that one.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 02-Jan-13 09:51:43

Yes of course I do!

It happens more often to wheelchair uses because they need more space to fit on! Therefore they need more people to be considerate and make space for them. A single person can squidge onto an over full bus quite easily a single wheelchair can't and has to rely far more on the kindness of strangers. In some places that is severely lacking...

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 02-Jan-13 09:52:40

Why do you think an elderly person couldn't hold a baby? It is usually elderly people who have offered to help me and they have managed just fine.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 09:52:45

Buses drive past bus stops when they are full. It happens vastly less often to wheelchair users because there are fewer of them.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 09:53:18

What is the problem exactly with having a pram space and a wheelchair space?

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 09:54:26

An elderly person can't lift a pram into a luggage rack for you on a moving bus when you have two slipped disks and worries about actually becoming disabled yourself if you injure your back.

gallivantsaregood Wed 02-Jan-13 09:54:35

Haven't read whole thread.So if this has been mentioned I apologise.

I am the parent of a disabled child and therefore I am all in favour of wheelchair spaces being used for disabled travellers. However when my wee boy ( now a wheelchair user) was a baby I couldn't have folded his pushchair down. He had a "normal" pushchair buy was continuously tube fed, generally had plaster casts on one or both legs and I couldn't have taken him out and folded his pushchair down. He had an NG tube ( feeding tube in hid nose) but many children have tubes inserted in their abdomen which are not obvious.

I suppose what I am trying to say is you cannot bam pushchair from using those spaced either as there may be children with disabilities who are still in a pushchair/buggy where it is impossible fir them to be taken out and pushchair folded.....

Sirzy Wed 02-Jan-13 09:55:26

Proportionally it happens much more to wheelchair users.

They have the worry every time they go out that some selfish person with a pram will make it so they can't travel.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 09:56:54

So do people with prams and also people who walk but have mobility problems...

plantsitter Wed 02-Jan-13 09:58:00

OF COURSE wheelchairs take priority over pushchairs and prams. I have never seen anyone refuse to get off a London bus for a wheelchair user.

Here's what I think:

If able-bodied people would sit upstairs when there is room, there would be a lot more space downstairs for wheelchairs and buggies and people who need to sit downstairs.

London bus users - are there REALLY a plethora of passengers who are willing to help you on buses with a baby and a toddler? Really? Because I'm in SE London and I have come across about 2, ever.

I'd be happy to fold my buggy every time if there were room to easily store it and if the bus driver would fricking WAIT for me to get the kids sat down safely and fold it before s/he speeded off in the jerky way only bus drivers can.

I'm so sick of the way it's seen as inconsiderate mothers yet again putting their precious children in front of everyone else. Generally, it isn't. It's parents trying to get from A to B without having a nervous breakdown in what is seldom a very friendly or helpful environment.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 02-Jan-13 09:59:03

I'm sorry if I seem harsh, I'm sure having 4 small children isn't easy - kudos for dealing with them. But you are being very short sighted if you can't see that you have more options than a person in a wheelchair and that if you modified your expectations you could manage.

A person in a wheelchair CAN'T fold it up so that both they and the person with the buggy can fit on. A person with a buggy CAN - it just might be a bit inconvenient for them.

Stuff happens in life that is a bit inconvenient. Deal with it.

which is exact;y why I said blue badge = disabled space on the bus. I folded my difficult heavy disabled buggy while lying my DS on the dirty floor (he couldn't sit) until I done it and carried his bigger than the average toddlers bag on the bus and made the driver wait till I was seated with DS and his attached oxygen tank. I got tutted and stared and all the comments making the bus late by the passengers. But the buggies wouldn't move. I was already late for DS's daily heart appointment but hey ho we don't need to be anywhere and can wait till a bus comes by with no buggy there?? I then used DS's blue badge to say we need the space.

hazeyjane Wed 02-Jan-13 10:00:51

gallivants, i have mentioned it too (ds is 2.6 and disabled, but in a normal buggy).smile

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 02-Jan-13 10:01:12

In london buses are much more regular though, and there is generally alternative options - elsewhere where it's more likely to be an hour until the next bus passengers are much friendly ime.

That is entirely my subjective opinion though!

Maryz Wed 02-Jan-13 10:01:36

So, maybe we should make exceptions for parents with pushchairs when:

The parent has a bad back, is 8 months pregnant, has twins in the pram and two toddlers a well, is disabled and there isn't a single able-bodied person on the bus who can help (including the driver), and the parent hasn't got enough money to buy a charity shop folding buggy, and is on the way to an urgent medical appointment to which there is only one bus a day.

In all other cases the pram should be folded, or the parent should get off.


BreconBeBuggered Wed 02-Jan-13 10:02:48

I think there has been an unwelcome change in attitudes since wheelchair spaces were introduced on buses and were gradually taken over by parents with buggies 'just while it's free'. 18 years ago I had serious back problems and struggled to get on buses with steps and no spaces. Although I could walk, it was apparent to everyone that I needed help getting on and off buses and it was always forthcoming.
8 years later and with a new baby to ferry around, my problems had become more serious and I needed a wheelchair to get about. By now there were both wheelchair and buggy spaces on local buses. I could only go out with DH pushing us as the baby had to travel on my lap. Being left at the bus stop in the cold, with a young baby, because nobody would fold their buggies, was a common experience. 'Just while it's free' had become 'It's my space now, so you can wait'. I gave up trying to go out at all after a couple of months of this.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 10:03:16

It wouldn't just be inconvenient though, someone in a wheelchair waiting for the next bus to get to the shop would be less inconvenienced than me not being able to pick up my child from school at all or me being forced to damage my back or risk haemorrhage from walking or just not be able to feed my babies who had weight gain problems in that case.

It isn't that simple.

What is the problem with having a pram space as well as a wheelchair space which is what they have here.

Maryz Wed 02-Jan-13 10:03:40

Sorry, devient, that was an unfortunate cross post with your post blush. I was aiming it at all the people who seem to think there are lots of reasons why a pram should take priority over a wheelchair.

Of course I know wheelchair users (quite a few at last count). What a bizarre question? An intrigued that someone might not know any!

gallivantsaregood Wed 02-Jan-13 10:04:25

Well done Devient. So. Sad that you had to take ds out and lay him on filthy bus floor though! Grrrr on your behalf. Using blue badge is a great idea.

Sirzy Wed 02-Jan-13 10:04:53

Because people wouldn't leave the wheelchair space empty, they would still decide they could use it.

Risk haemorrhage and feeding babies from folding a pushchair? Blimey.

Dawndonna Wed 02-Jan-13 10:05:35

There is no such thing as "a sensible buggy" for using a bus with twin babies. It isn't just the babies that make it impossible to fold, it is the other children and the need to rely on people helping you. Yes; I am "one of those" people who doesn't want just anyone to hold my children, I'm pretty sure the bus company wouldn't allow it either, mainly I don't want to be forced to rely on other people helping me because on the whole they won't. I don't see why it is necessary if there is a. No wheelchair on the bus and b. no need if all buses had both a wheelchair and a pram space.

I managed with twins, one of whom is disabled, and toddlers. Get over yourself and hand them to other people.

This is a great plan to further isolate vulnerable mothers who are already disadvantaged by not having a car.

Your attitude feels like a plan to further isolate disabled people.

And bollocks is it more likely to happen to a wheelchair user, do you actually know any wheelchair users?

That would be my 16 year old dd. She's written on here before about her experiences of trying to get the bus when entitled mothers are on. I'll see if I can find it for you. It's fucking heartbreaking.

Sirzy Wed 02-Jan-13 10:06:01

Saintly - some of the views on this thread highlight that people obviously don't know anyone in a wheelchair otherwise they may have some level of appreciation as to how much of a struggle day to day life is.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 10:06:03

This isn't about London it is about the north east. The north east is very rural.

What exactly is the problem with having a pram space?

It was not a problem here because we do have a pram space and people do use it correctly.

Maryz Wed 02-Jan-13 10:06:53

Offred, how come you don't get it.

What happens if the next bus also has an entitled fuckwit in the wheelchair space who thinks picking up her child from school is more important than whatever the wheelchair user has planned for the day?

And the next bus and the next?

How do you know how many buses have already gone past with the wheelchair space occupied? And just how long should the wheelchair user sit at that bus stop?

What would you do if every bus that came along had the "pram space" full - would you ask one of the people to fold, or would you happily wait for the next bus, and the next?

no bother Mary. I don't mind give and take. It was hard work, everything was heavy including DS, what people don't realise is when your child has no control of there body you carry that child around, lifting and bending, upstairs, downstairs etc etc all day every day. I just didn't need the hassle off others while I proceeded and could of used some help TBH. However he's my DS and no one else is gonna help, 12 year on has proved that one.

Well if you can't find a folding twin buggy (I did say I walked with mine) and you won't let anyone else hold your babies so you can fold it then you'll just have to get off the bus if a wheelchair user needs the space. Your choice.

Sirzy Wed 02-Jan-13 10:09:12

I remember a thread on here before about a mother with a child in a wheelchair who needed to use the bus to pick up her older child. 5 buses went past and not one pram user made any effort to let her on. She couldn't just fold a wheelchair so she had to stand and wait, while her child waited for mummy to get there.

Someone with a pram with them (assuming child doesn't have special needs) CAN fold the pram and get on a bus, it's harder but it's possible.

would like to add I'm in the north east

You're right sirzy, of course.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 10:09:52

But that problem is not the existence of prams on buses, it is prams using the disabled space, why is the solution to make it so that people with prams are not allowed on buses.

I DO and have made room for wheelchairs and other prams, what I am objecting to is the kicking off of prams for wheelchairs and the banning of prams which would have very badly affected you too with twins and a disabled child...

if I had my DS in the wheelchair space obviously needing it, I wouldn't mind helping anyone on the bus so we all fit on. Common courtesy goes a long way.

manicbmc Wed 02-Jan-13 10:11:52

The only people who should be kicked off buses are those morons who refuse (with no good reason) to fold and move for wheelchairs.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 10:12:01

I might add that I've seen plenty of buses refuse entry to disabled people because they are full of able bodied people and also seen able bodied people refuse to move for people in wheelchairs, the solution is to ban able bodied people from using buses yes? Or is it to make space for all people who want to use buses?

plantsitter Wed 02-Jan-13 10:12:46

Maybe part of the trouble is that they don't have bus conductors any more, so you're asking one bus driver to take payments, police the seating arrangements (which presumably he or she can't see all that well, being at the front of the bus, CCTV or no), and drive the bus safely and on time.

It is possible that the majority of pushchair users who don't fold (not that I've ever seen one) haven't been told there is a wheelchair user waiting to get on and can't see who is at the bus stop.

And I really take objection to people talking about 'entitled mothers' like it's only women who behave badly, or that mothers are some kind of enemy to all but their own children.

Maryz Wed 02-Jan-13 10:13:45

And I remember dawndonna's dds posts on here - they were the best (and most moving) posts I have read on this topic.

Just heartbreaking sad.

manicbmc Wed 02-Jan-13 10:13:46

I think the solution is for those who object to the entitled morons, to speak up and shame them into doing what is right. More people need to speak up and more people need to be prepared to be helpful and come out of their precious little bubbles.

It is too early for this. I need more coffee.

Maryz Wed 02-Jan-13 10:15:46

But that's what everyone is saying Offred confused - everyone (including parents with prams) should make room.

The only people who would be "kicked off" are those who refuse to fold and make room.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 02-Jan-13 10:16:57

In the OP - pram is used to mean a pushchair that doesn't fold (like those huge silvercross ones) buggy/pushchair is used to mean a folding one.

I don't think it would be unreasonable to ban unfolding pushchairs. They are a totally daft thing to take on a bus.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 10:19:59

No, that is NOT what these proposals say.

Read them.

They say people with prams should be forced to either not use the bus at all, fold the pram whether or not there is a wheelchair user and be kicked off the bus if someone in a wheelchair is waiting.

Again, what is the problem with having, as we do, a pram space and a disabled space which are each suitable for their purpose and not suitable for each other which are used on a first come first served basis like the seats on buses generally, meaning that all people can make plans to reasonably use the bus.

Dawndonna Wed 02-Jan-13 10:22:42

My dd wrote the following on a similar thread, last June:

*This is Dawndonna's dd1.
I'm fifteen. I use a wheelchair. Today I wanted to go to the city with my friends. Mum had an operation yesterday so can't drive me. My twin sister thought she could get me on the bus. I have come home. It's dry,but a bit windy and I started to get a bit too cold. The first two buses had buggies on and both of them were 'well, she's a kid just going to hang about in the city whilst we need to shop for our babies'. The third one didn't have a ramp. Yes, I could have waited for another but I get hypothermia. It's half eleven now and I'm only just warming up. My twin is typing this for me.
Do you know, Mum has been rattling on about this crap on Mumsnet for days, to be honest, I wish most of you would piss off and shut up. Mum feels she needs to defend me and somedays she does, today, she wouldn't have put up with the bus stuff, but I'm fifteen, and whilst I'm incredibly articulate, I find it difficult to have to state my case in front of thirty odd adult strangers on a bus. Why should I? Well, for all those reasons stated by the so called pompous gits on here, I get hypothermia, there is only one space, it's none of your business to question my motives for getting the bus. It's actually none of your business to open negotiations as to who should or should not stay on the bus.
Unlike Mum, I shan't be coming back to check on this. I am made aware on a daily basis that there are many, many rude and selfish adults out there, I don't need it in my home too, because that's what the internet does, it brings this sort of bullying into my home.*

Nothing more to be said, really.

MakeItALarge Wed 02-Jan-13 10:22:43

Why does it have to be a choice between wheelchairs and prams? I totally agree that there should be a designated wheelchair space on every bus, but there should also be pram spaces.

I use buses daily and will always fold the pram if I need to but its not that easy, as many people have pointed out. You cannot simply rely in the goodwill of strangers, if they were always this willing to help out then this problem wouldnt exist.

Fwiw I think the answer stated in the op by the bus company is disgusting, there making it into an argument over who is more entitled to that space rather than providing adequate space for everyone.

HoleyGhost Wed 02-Jan-13 10:22:59

Right now it is a subjective judgement call - I suspect that with prams being automatically ejected in random rural locations, it will be a matter of time before there is a related tragedy - e.g. newborn with hypothermia, small child hit by car.

With an aging population, the need for wheelchair spaces will grow. It makes sense to have separate (smaller) pram spaces. To campaign for something positive as well as taking from one vulnerable group to give to another.

It bothers me that this is only about prams - I have often seen luggage hogging the wheelchair space and there is now nowhere else to put either suitcases or folded prams.

Maryz Wed 02-Jan-13 10:25:27

Everyone needs to read Dawndonna Wed 02-Jan-13 10:22:42

That is the reason wheelchair users are making these demands.

There would be no problem if there were no entitled parents/minders refusing to make room for wheelchairs.

NC78 Wed 02-Jan-13 10:29:23

I can't drive and had to rely on buses.

If you have a baby and want to use buses, then get a folding buggy.

One day,however, I was absolutely loaded down with shopping on my buggy when a wheelchair user wanted to get on - I got off and waited for the next bus. There are prams/buggies on virtually every bus these days (i use buses daily), that could lead to wheelchair users waiting forever at bus stops.

I don't think prams should be banned from buses. I reckon people should be fined for not giving up a disabled space to a disabled person. It's no great hardship to either fold a buggy or wait for another bus.

AmberSocks Wed 02-Jan-13 10:30:33

I think there just needs to be designated spaces for pushchairs on buses,aswell as disabled spaces,that would surely solve it?noone is allowed to use theother.

5madthings Wed 02-Jan-13 10:30:34

They are proposals and asking what people think us best. That is what the thread is for offred and most people have said no 1 is noy ok but no 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are fine and yes in an ideal world buses would have a space fir a wheelchair AND a pushchair (some of my local buses do) the reality is unless parents campaign that wont happen.

In the meantime the space us for a wheelchair use you know those whi campaigned for years to get them and who have no other choice.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 10:31:47

Except that doesn't tell you why people with prams were on the bus or how many people with prams were refused entry or whether the people with prams were asked about the wheelchair. It simply tells you that it is hard travelling on buses in a wheelchair. If you are at home you can go home to avoid hypothermia, if you are at the side of a road next to a field and you have no clue where you are you can't. It still is not that simple. It still would be solved by having pram spaces on buses. I'm sure your dd has also experienced able bodied people blocking her from the bus, it isn't that simple, it isn't the existence of prams on buses which are the problem, some people are entitled and mean, you can't judge this based on them being able bodied, disabled, having a pram or whatever...

Maryz Wed 02-Jan-13 10:32:53

What happens if you have a pushchair at a bus stop, and every bus that goes by has a pushchair in the pushchair space?

Would you want other people to be helpful and fold?

Or would you be happy to wait there all day, or like Dawndonna's dd, just go home?

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 10:34:19

That is what happens when you have a pram at a bus stop, the bus goes past without stopping when the pram space is full or it stops and tells you to wait.

EasilyBored Wed 02-Jan-13 10:35:24

Surely the answer to this is simple: Rather than having a shit fit about not being able to use a space that is designed for wheelchair users and coming up with a bunch of random situations where life is really quite difficult for you coughtinyviolincough, you should start a national campaign to try and force bus companies to modify their buses so that they are accessible for prams as well as wheelchairs. If some buses have designated spots for wheelchairs and also designated spots for prams, then why not try and force all bus companies to do the same? Or is it easier to sit at your computer and have a whine about how hard life is?

Or start a campaign to reintroduce general human kindness - I imagine most people on MN would help someone who was struggling to fold a buggy and wrangle toddlers and twins and three weeks worth of shopping, so maybe we need to all start to be more vocal about helping people?

HoleyGhost Wed 02-Jan-13 10:37:19

I wonder would a wheelchair accessible dial -a -ride service in addition to normal bus services be a good idea for rural locations? It would have to be subsidised but would avoid all these problems as the space could be booked in advance.

Like a large communal taxi..

Maryz Wed 02-Jan-13 10:37:25

And are you really ok with that Offred shock? Wouldn't it be a good idea if everyone folded, and you could fit three pushchairs on each bus?

I second the idea of a campaign to reintroduce kindness.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 10:38:35

It isn't about having a shit fit about using the wheelchair space, these proposals will set a precedent for the whole country and may apply to buses which are already modified to accept prams and wheelchairs, the proposals mention nothing about the issue being about the wheelchair space they talk about buses generally and therefore may end up applying to buses which have a pram space (which incidentally can't be used by a wheelchair anyway), why can't the proposal be that the bus company is forced to make pram spaces on buses?

Maryz Wed 02-Jan-13 10:38:42

And that's a very good idea Holey - a bookable wheelchair space for once-an-hour buses, so a wheelchair user could plan a day out, knowing for sure they could get home.

Narked Wed 02-Jan-13 10:40:59

They're wheelchair spaces. That's what they're for. A baby is not a disability.

EasilyBored Wed 02-Jan-13 10:41:05

Well then I suggest that you contact the people making the proposal and point that out Offred. That is the point of things like this. Make yourself heard.

NC78 Wed 02-Jan-13 10:41:10

Im starting to think proposal number 2 is the best one - then there is room for everyone who wants to board.

hazeyjane Wed 02-Jan-13 10:41:13

Sorry, but every day I rely on the goodwill of others, i catch a bus to school with my dcs, there is no luggage area, or space for pram/wheelchairs. It is an old coach and only has seating has steps up into the bus. I catch the bus with dd1 and 2 and ds, ds is 2.5 and in a buggy - it is a Mountain Buggy, I fold it and put it in the hold under the bus, whilst dd1 gets holds ds - it is a struggle, i won't deny it, because we have school bags, and ds, although he can can walk, he is unsteady and erratic, and dd1 is 6 and tiny.

BUT everyday, the bus driver gets off and helps us, and people offer to help with the dds and ds. If no-one offers then I ask, and people help.

If we catch a bus into town or the hospital, then we use a stroller (I don't like using this for everyday use, because ds tends to slump more in it). We have had to fold when prams get on with younger children than ds, which is a pain, but again, I ask people to help - I wouldn't manage if I didn't. I have had teenagers, young children, men, women and old people help out (once 2 old ladies lifted ds in his pushchair onto the bus for me - despite my protestations!).

On the whole people don't mind helping if asked.

Narked Wed 02-Jan-13 10:42:57

And if you choose to buy an unfoldable tank of a pushchair don't expect to be able to use it on public transport.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 10:43:02

That is just how it is Mary, I assume people fold if they can to make enough room. If I was in a none folding wheelchair I wouldn't ask someone to fold their folding wheelchair so I could get on, I'd assume if they could do they would have done it.

I don't see it as any different to buses getting too full to allow any passengers at all or regularly just not turning up, that's just how it is for everyone using buses, you can't guarantee you'll fit. A disabled person may already be in the space another disabled person wants to use, it is easier to replan a journey from the start of it, you can't have a competition about who needs it more at the bus stop you just have to suck it up.

That's why I cycle now, there was a short time when I had no option but to use a bus.

manicbmc Wed 02-Jan-13 10:44:13

If you know you are going to be using buses regularly, why get a massive pram? Why not spend £30 on a easily folding buggy. It would make everyones' lives easier.

I'm lucky in that there are many many buses where I live and they all have wheelchair and buggy spaces. But some prams are too big for the buggy space and mean that where you could fit 2 buggies, you can only fit one pram which usually spills over into the aisle causing an obstruction anyway. There needs to be a lot more compassion and some common sense used.

I walked 3 miles in a blizzard with a tandem buggy once, to get to a hospital appointment for ds. There were no buggy/wheelchair spaces then and getting a taxi was not an option due to lack of funds. It was tough. I was freezing and soaked but I got there and on time which is more than can be said for the consultant.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 10:44:39

I have already contacted the bus company's solicitor when this was posted elsewhere on the Internet.

Lol at babies dying of dying from hypothermia waiting for us bus - a well wrapped up baby in a buggy that's too big to fold with a decent raincover is not going to die from hypothermia if they have to get off to allow a wheelchair user to use the space (or just fold the bloody thing if it's a matter of life or death).

Honestly these scenarios are ridiculous. How on earth would you manage with an actual problem if folding a buggy becomes a dice with death.

Maryz Wed 02-Jan-13 10:46:41

I don't see why you are arguing then Offred - did you read dawndonna's post? Because that is the daily reality of wheelchair users - they sit at bus stops, not knowing whether or not they will be allowed onto the next bus. Or the next or the next. And you can't assume people will fold. Because they don't.

If they did, this whole thing would be a non-problem.

And you are lucky, you can now (after a few years of bus use) use another form of transport. Wheelchair users can't. They are facing a lifetime of this - with generation after generation of babies who are too precious to be taken out of their cozy prams or given to strangers to hold hmm.

Offred Wed 02-Jan-13 10:46:45

People don't necessarily plan that well for journeys to hospital though. Children waiting in the rain even in raincoats for an hour next to a field in the middle of nowhere would be very vulnerable.

HoleyGhost Wed 02-Jan-13 10:47:05

Have you ever waited for an hour for the next bus in a rural area with no shelter Jimjams?

MissCoffeeNWine Wed 02-Jan-13 10:47:30

Someone asked how to reduce over reliance on buggies, well I simply suggest some easy thought processes. Do you really need one. If you do do you need to take it on the bus. Can you use an alternative, can the child walk, are you merely using it for shopping? I'd wager a majority of pushchair journeys aren't necessary, a bit like car journeys really. If you really do feel you need it then great, take it on the bus and pay a luggage fee if you won't fold it, get a badge if you can't (truly can't). This can apply to other large pieces of luggage too. It is bizarre to me to expect to take something as large as an unfolded pushchair on a bus or train. Wheelchairs are often necessary to people in a way many buggies are not.

lol Saintly, dicing with death at folding buggies. If they want they can borrow DS and his wheelchair to find out how easy it is, then they can decide haha