For all those who won't fold for wheelchairs YABU

(253 Posts)
GobbySadcase Tue 24-Sep-13 11:39:59

only now it's legally recognised

* blows raspberries *

Poledra Tue 24-Sep-13 11:42:07

Marvellous! Shame people are so self-centred that they have to be legally forced to do the right thing...

jacks365 Tue 24-Sep-13 11:43:02

I am disgusted that this even happened in the first place. Our local first buses make it very clear that wheelchair users have priority. I've even seen one driver make a woman with pushchair get off because she refused to fold.

Thepowerof3 Tue 24-Sep-13 11:44:23

That's good news, I used to get the bus as I couldn't drive and would always fold. I had a few pushchairs including one I didn't know how to fold but never took it as Sod's law means that I would've needed to fold it and look silly.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Tue 24-Sep-13 11:46:32

Good. I remember dating a lad in college who used a wheelchair and it was so frustrating trying to get anywhere because of the number of people who wouldn't get out of the fricking allocated wheelchair spaces to make room for him. It wasn't always pushchairs, sometimes just people sitting in those seats who would otherwise have had to stand so he could get on. Pissed me off no end that the drivers wouldn't tell them to MOVE.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 24-Sep-13 11:47:21

It always was law.

The issue is, how does a driver force someone to fold/leave the bus?

Thepowerof3 Tue 24-Sep-13 11:47:43

It's great news for everyone as we could become wheelchair users at any time

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 11:48:21

Now that one person has made a stand and won, let's hope that all bus companies change their policies, or if not, that future cases are protested as effectively. One man can be the agent of change, what a shame that he needed to take it to court.

EverythingInMjiniature Tue 24-Sep-13 11:49:50

itsallgoingtobefine they just turn off the engine and start reading the paper, the other passengers will get the selfish git off eventually

SayCoolNowSayWhip Tue 24-Sep-13 11:50:00

But isn't forcing women off the bus / not allowing them on equally discriminatory?

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 11:50:23

'The issue is, how does a driver force someone to fold/leave the bus?'

Peer pressure. He asks and if the person is still uncooperative, he refuses to move the bus until they do. Then all the passengers get pissed off with the one who won't fold and make their opinions clear.

Are you seriously suggesting it's only women who use pushchairs, SayCool?

jacks365 Tue 24-Sep-13 11:52:18

The women have the choice to fold so no ut isn't discrimination towards them

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 11:52:33

'But isn't forcing women off the bus / not allowing them on equally discriminatory?'

Telling an individual of whichever sex to comply with the law or get off the bus is not discrimination. Same as I have to pack my bow and arrows in an appropriate fashion or be refused access to public transport for carrying an active weapon.

jacks365 Tue 24-Sep-13 11:53:03

Women/men to be fair to all.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 24-Sep-13 11:54:11

No, it isn't discriminatory. They have other choices that somebody using a wheelchair does not.

MrsGaryKielhofner Tue 24-Sep-13 11:54:31

The person with the pram can fold and stay on the bus. The wheelchair user has no choice. That is the key difference.

kelda Tue 24-Sep-13 11:58:13

SayCoolNowSayWhip - the point is, the parent has choice. They can chose to buy a pushchair/pram that is easy to fold. Many parents use slings.

A wheelchair user has no choice.

<tries to explain again>

<deletes it and gives up>

I would love to know where invisible disabilities actually fall in this by law. As i geniunely have no idea. Apparently some bus companies will allow disabled buggy pushers/pushers of disabled buggies to stay on, but it took a lot of googling to find one company that acknowledged this.

sonlypuppyfat Tue 24-Sep-13 12:03:08

You would struggle if you had a Silver cross type pram. With my first baby I had a traditional type pram how would you cope with your shopping and a tiny baby, I would have had to get off the bus. Its difficult for everyone.

RandomCitizen Tue 24-Sep-13 12:04:34

It always just reminds me how blooming glad I am to have a car and not need to use buses, which are so bloody difficult to use for the people who need them the most.

Don't even get me started on bus drivers. I have never known such passive aggressive, dangerous-driving bastards as some of the bus drivers round here.

(not all - just a fair few of them)

My children often ask to use the bus on the way back from town and I usually say no because I cannot be arsed to get the buggy on, folding it would be even worse, (non walking baby) and if someone wanted the space for a wheelchair then of COURSE they should have it and I would just take the buggy off and walk the rest of the way.

I can't believe there are people out there who would refuse to let a disabled person have the space.

RandomCitizen Tue 24-Sep-13 12:05:31

I don't think large, unfoldable prams should be allowed on buses anyway tbh - if you can afford a Silver Cross coachbuilt pram then you can probably afford your own transport too!

Fizzyknickers Tue 24-Sep-13 12:06:52

Sonly. U CHOOSE to get such a ridiculous buggy. Wheelchair users don't choose to be disabled. How ridiculous!

RandomCitizen Tue 24-Sep-13 12:07:31

No offence - I had a LBC for ds1 and filled it up with shopping all around him as it was so massive. But I would never have tried to take the fucker on a bus grin

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 12:09:02

'I can't believe there are people out there who would refuse to let a disabled person have the space'

Hundreds of them, possibly thousands. angry
It's sad that it's got to the point of court rulings because basic decency and consideration for others is inadequate, but hopefully it will have a huge impact on changing current practice.

GobbySadcase Tue 24-Sep-13 12:09:48

I've had that situation, I simply explained that the maclaren major was a buggy for children with disabilities and that my DD has mobility problems.

That was accepted and the non major buggy had to fold.

When we were filling the bay with DS's wheelchair AND the major buggy and a wheelchair user needed to use the bus we folded the major and carried DD to minimise inconvenience to anyone.

sonlypuppyfat Tue 24-Sep-13 12:10:11

Cars do break down.And buses sometimes have to be used.

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 12:12:44

And the fact that you see your pram as equal to a wheelchair, and your difficulties with a small child and shopping as a disability are why I'm all for clear legislation and large fines for companies that don't comply.

RandomCitizen Tue 24-Sep-13 12:12:50

In which case Sonly, you'd have to chance it with your silver cross fitting through the door of the bus...I doubt it'd make the steps either tbh, but yunno, it's up to you! smile

A new silver cross costs a fortune. Even the LBC which was second hand and cost me £40 goes for hundreds on ebay.

If you can afford that then you can probably afford a £25 spare folding buggy for emergencies as you describe...innit?

TheSmallClanger Tue 24-Sep-13 12:13:55

No-one needs a giant coachbuilt pram in this day and age, or one of those enormous non-folding buggies. There are alternatives. Plenty of people need wheelchairs.

Andro Tue 24-Sep-13 12:14:56

if you can afford a Silver Cross coachbuilt pram then you can probably afford your own transport too!

Perhaps they didn't choose the restricted vision/epilepsy/whatever illness or meds that mean they are not fit to drive though! Being ell enough off to have an expensive pram makes them neither immune to illness/disability nor makes them wealthy enough to have a personal driver/use a driver service on a daily basis.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Tue 24-Sep-13 12:15:30

Sorry, no I didn't mean only women push pushchairs.

And I would always give a wheelchair user precedent; as you say, they have less of a choice.

But you can't say parents CHOOSE to have kids, have big buggies, take the bus. I don't drive and even if I did, we couldn't afford to run a second car. We have a second hand Phil and Ted's that was given to us as we couldn't afford a double buggy when DS came along. It doesn't fold. I've been forced off a bus and not allowed on one due to not enough space, missing drs appointments.

It's not always about choice.

Personally I think bus companies should take both cases into consideration and come up with better space arrangements on their buses.

Andro Tue 24-Sep-13 12:16:23


sonlypuppyfat Tue 24-Sep-13 12:16:30

I never said I'd got a Silver cross! My DD pram cost me a fiver off a car boot sale, I'm just trying to see both sides of an arguement. I just think it would be a struggle with a tiny baby if you were on your own, I would give up my space in a second for a wheelchair user.

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 12:16:31

These conversations go round and round until they disappear up their own fannies. Sonly, get on the bus, refuse to fold if asked to, be made to get off.
Uncomplicated choice.

RandomCitizen Tue 24-Sep-13 12:16:46

It were rubbish anyway, beautiful to look at but seriously poor weight distribution, short wheelbase, tried to topple over several times and no brakes.

I took him in it about three times and gave was a bit embarrassing anyway.

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 12:17:59

'Personally I think bus companies should take both cases into consideration and come up with better space arrangements on their buses.'

Good idea.

BrianTheMole Tue 24-Sep-13 12:18:32

Great news. About time too.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 24-Sep-13 12:22:23

Personally I think bus companies should take both cases into consideration and come up with better space arrangements on their buses.
Some of us have spent considerable time (years) and energy ensuring access for wheelchair users. Perhaps you could campaign for your equality. The inconvenience is for a relatively short period of time. Your baby will grow up and between the ages of three and five, in all likelihood stop using their buggy. My daughter is seventeen. She still needs her wheelchair, as did my uncle in his sixties.

jacks365 Tue 24-Sep-13 12:24:22

My big coach built marmet cost me 99p from ebay and just needed a clean up. I need it for shopping as the supermarket is 5miles away and bus fares extortionate so I do a big shop and it copes. I don't drive due to health problems. Our buses are all low floor so I have no problem getting on but I accept that if a wheelchair wants to get on I get off and wait or walk. Wheelchairs always take priority. I class the major as a wheelchair.

enormouse Tue 24-Sep-13 12:25:11

I'm glad this legislation has gone through but it does seem there's something wrong with human decency that it had to be put through.

I have two buggies. The first is a cheap lightweight pushchair/travel system that will fold relatively easily. The second I was given by DPs parents. It's a big 3 wheeled all terrain thing that had to go in DPs dad's car as the back seats had to be put down for it. We use it for rambling and hill walking. I wouldn't dream of taking it on public transport as the bastard will not fold.

It's common sense, use buses a lot, get a cheap buggy that folds.

GobbySadcase Tue 24-Sep-13 12:25:56

It's not an argument. It's something that has been presented in a court of law and the LEGAL decision was that buggies fold.

PrimalLass Tue 24-Sep-13 12:26:02

I don't think large, unfoldable prams should be allowed on buses anyway tbh - if you can afford a Silver Cross coachbuilt pram then you can probably afford your own transport too!

They weren't in Edinburgh for a few years, but there was a huge hoo ha about that too as the bus company just implemented it without any warning.

AmberLeaf Tue 24-Sep-13 12:28:42

But isn't forcing women off the bus / not allowing them on equally discriminatory?

No it isn't because they have other choices.

They could do what I did with my first two and just get on with it, it's really not that hard.

My eldest child is 17 and my youngest 10. It was only with my youngest that you could get a buggy on a bus. You had no option other than to fold it up or walk. People managed.

nickelbabe Tue 24-Sep-13 12:29:35

well then you'll have to accept that you should get off the bus and wait for the next one.
(non-folding buggy)

DD's buggy doesn't fold because i ruined it getting it on and off trains last year (i never could work out how to fold it properly, which didn't help, but all the signs said to strap the child in before alighting. but it was a whopping great leap onto the platform from the train and no one was around to help me.)
but we have another buggy which we use for going out if we are in the car or going on public transport.

KoalaFace Tue 24-Sep-13 12:34:51

I think there needs to be clear rules and they should be printed on the bus.

I think if everyone knew that they had to either fold their pram or get off the bus for a wheelchair user then people would take this into account when buying a pram. Or they'd use a sling. I also think if everyone was aware of the rules then it wouldn't be a problem.

But the grey area of it all (relying on people's "good will" fgs) just isn't on. Why should wheelchair users have to rely on "good will"?

edam Tue 24-Sep-13 12:36:22

Well done that man for challenging First and making it clear what the law actually is.

Anyone who refuses to fold their damn buggy and get out of the space for a wheelchair user is an arse. People with pushchairs should be grateful that we are occasionally allowed to use that space when it is free - it's only there because of dogged campaigning by disabled people.

SuseB Tue 24-Sep-13 12:39:33

I can't get my head around people's choices of buggy (unless they are given them/get them v. cheap). When my first DD was born in 2006 I realised after a few months of carrying her in the sling that there were times when a buggy would be useful: I bought the cheapest, lightest, foldable buggy I could find in Mothercare (it came with a shoulder strap because it's so light to carry) that still lay flat and had a rain cover. Best buggy ever - am sad to have just retired it after DC3, finally worn out. Cost £80. It fits in any car, on any bus, in any corner of the house. It carries shopping underneath, can have a toddler stand on the back of the shopping basket without unbalancing/distorting buggy, folds with one handed mechanism. Have carried it down flights of stairs at shopping centres when lift out of order with no problem (in one memorable case, while also carrying a DC and helping a friend with her Phil and Teds...). Why aren't more buggies like that? (Genuine question).

herethereandeverywhere Tue 24-Sep-13 12:40:32

Completely agree that wheelchair users should always take priority and that public transport should continue to become more wheelchair friendly.

BUT - I don't get the bus at all precisely because of this rule. I have a light easy fold pushchair (bb bee) but once carrying bags of shopping then holding my child (of any age - tiny baby easier in some ways) and folding and finding a new place for the folded pushchair/shopping/child it just is not feasible. I wouldn't want to risk being abandoned at the side of the road halfway through my journey so I don't get the bus. I live in London where driving/parking is a nightmare so don't have a car and the tube is equally buggy (and wheelchair) unfriendly due to the steps. I find sticking to the same walking distance places/activities very isolating and frustrating at times but nowhere near the experience of a wheelchair user attempting to use public transport. The much hated bendy buses where actually loads better in this regard as there was so much standing space.

There is no wonder there are so many cars on the road.

All I am saying is that it would appear to be easier if there was clearer legislation and the "wheelchair" space were a "disabled" space. Then there could be no arguments by anyone about the maclaren majors, and no arguments about parents with mobility issues who cannot fold their buggies, nor get off and walk. And this is what is not clear in law, everything refers to passengers who ar disabled when they mean passengers in wheelchairs.

It has even been used on this thread!

olidusUrsus Tue 24-Sep-13 12:40:56

I would love to know where invisible disabilities actually fall in this by law.

I think it's become the no-mans land that happens very often when you have an invisible disability. FWIW I think if you are a disabled parent with a buggy in that space, you should still move for the wheelchair user - it's a wheelchair priority space.

Personally, I wouldn't ask that of any disabled parent if they looked to be struggling, but I think that's probably how the law sees it.

Vintageclock Tue 24-Sep-13 12:43:00

Sad that there's so many people around who won't show any consideration towards others unless there's a law that says they have to. You see it in so many scenarios, not just the selfish parents who comandeer wheelchair spaces and dig their heels in when asked to move.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 12:44:38

There is no argument. Wheelchairs have priority in law.

If someone is too stupid to realise that a massive, non-folding pram isn't going to be a good idea for using on a bus then that is their own fault.

And yes, having children is a choice, as is how you choose to transport them.

Having a disability isn't a choice and anyone saying wheelchairs should have to wait because their precious child is asleep/their pram won't fold is an utter arsehole of the highest order.

Teapigging Tue 24-Sep-13 12:46:28

I had a light, small buggy I couldn't fold at one point (it had been broken while flying, and I had to cobble it together with wire while the requisite part came in), but I was quite clear that, should a wheelchair user get on the bus, I would get off with newborn DS and get the next bus. This was London, so no long waits.

I think it only happened once or twice. The only thing I felt bad about was that both wheelchair users were apologetic, which they shouldn't have had to be...

Beastofburden Tue 24-Sep-13 12:56:36

gawd how depressing. 99% of the time, no wheelchair user gets on. For that rare time when they would like to use a bus, how can some people be so selfish and blind to the realities of using a wheelchair full-time that they try to argue that "its just as bad for them" to fold up their buggy?
It's public transport, people. Which means we share it. Nicely. And wheelchair users clearly come first in that space.

Inertia Tue 24-Sep-13 13:04:21

Surely the answer is to force the bus companies to meet all needs- i.e. they have to provide one area for wheelchair users as they do currently, which is solely for wheelchair users or pushchairs used by children with disabilities and is not be used by anybody else with prams/pushchairs/ shopping trolleys. If it's not in use, it remains empty so that a wheelchair user can get on further along the route. Ideally it would accommodate 2 wheelchairs.

They could easily re configure the seating arrangements elsewhere on the bus to provide space for pushchairs / prams on a first come first served basis, and still retain priority accessible seating for the less mobile.

LadyFlumpalot Tue 24-Sep-13 13:06:22

My iCandy was a cheap bargain as the button that makes it fold is broken. I have no problem in either waiting for the next bus or getting off the bus if needed. I just phone and apologise if I'm going to be late for something.

This is all very well but the problem with these threads is when someone comes along and says 'well I don't think the person in the wheelchair should have priority, I was there first and my baby was asleep and I have a toddler and a pile of shopping too'
Then we all try to explain about the disabled persons rights being upheld by the Equality Act 2010 and having children is just a lifestyle choice. But the person who disagrees just never gets it.

Bun fight ensues.

and repeat

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 13:08:23

How do you suggest they stop people from using the space?

There are notices on Stagecoach buses that state that the space is for wheelchairs but may be used for buggies if it is not being used. Buggies must be folded or moved if a wheelchair needs the space, and people are reminded that that is the law.

Our drivers up this way don't ask buggies to fold, they tell them, when it is necessary. Anyone who argues with them would get short shrift.

OryxCrake Tue 24-Sep-13 13:12:55

Fantastic that he won the ruling but very sad that it was necessary in the first place.

As far as I can see, it's very clear. Those spaces are specifically for wheelchair users, and were fought for very hard. As a concession, if the space is not needed, it can be used for pushchairs at the driver's discretion.

I don't understand how people can argue that they shouldn't be asked to leave the bus if a wheelchair user needs the space.

At the risk of sounding ancient and stroppy, many of us took babies and toddlers on public transport before you were allowed to wheel a pushchair on. We managed.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 24-Sep-13 13:14:05

The company have been given six months to change their policy. This will have to include changing their notices and making it absolutely clear. Ergo, people will be referred to the notice which will make it clear that it is the law. The bus driver will now have to enforce the law, how he does that is up to him, either not moving until such time as the non folder folds, or calling the police to ensure that the law is upheld.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 13:20:01

Exactly, DawnDonna.

I use the bus a lot and I'd be quite happy to wait if a driver had to stop a while to get a buggy fold refuser off the bus. I'd also be quite happy to tell the buggy user they are a disgrace as well.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 24-Sep-13 13:25:42

I always get cheered up when someone like you posts YoutheCat, it means that other people are keeping an eye out for people like my dd. Thank you!

aderynlas Tue 24-Sep-13 13:29:28

Another thing with buggy users and buses is the buggy full of shopping and the child sitting on the seat. A young mum with a tiny baby wanted to get on the bus, the mum who was using the space didn't want to move her shopping and fold her buggy. Some people just have no manners.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 13:30:20

The way I see it is, one day that might be my friend or child or even me in that wheelchair trying to live my life.

Allowing someone to get away with behaving like a twat is just not an option.

Beastofburden Tue 24-Sep-13 13:33:30

Oryx agree. Buses were no fun when mine were little- no spaces, and no dipping buses that came down to street level so yuo could get on level. You could lift everything in, but you had to fold it all up and hope there was room in the parcels bit.

Double buggy- forget it. Double buggy plus third toddler- I used to walk.

The buses have improved hugely since then- no wheelchair user could have got on either, back in the day. It does seem a shame that what was meant to improve access for wheelchair users has just resulted in non-disabled people getting more entitled.

ProudAS Tue 24-Sep-13 13:52:37

What if a parent has severe arthritis and cannot fold the buggy? The equality act applies to them just as much as it does to a wheelchair user and their journey is no less important?

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 13:53:31

No it doesn't. It applies to wheelchairs.

If someone can't fold they could ask for help or get off and wait for the next bus.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Tue 24-Sep-13 14:00:48

inertia the thing about reconfiguring the space is that then it could very easily just get filled up with more pushairs/suitcases etc on busy routes. And if you take up too many seats then that makes it harder for the elderly and people with other disabilities to travel safely. People should understand that there is a hierarchy of need and a pushchair (not a wheelchair pushchair) should come below a wheelchair. Babies can be transported without pushchairs but wheelchair users need them to lead their lives. If you travel a lot by bus, you should have a fold up one or a sling, if you don't then on the extremely small liklihood that you'll have to get off because you don't have a fold up, well that's just life.

VelvetStrider Tue 24-Sep-13 14:05:46

Why can't they just design buses sensibly so that the majority of seats flip up and down, like in cinemas, so there is adequate space for any combination of wheelchairs, buggies and folk requiring a seat? Rather than the current set up where any more than one buggy/wheelchair requires a huge amount of inconvenience for the buggy owner in having to unload their shopping, bags, sleeping/crying baby , fold and store their buggy on a moving bus and locate a seat. They could install some luggage racks at the same time.

ProudAS Tue 24-Sep-13 14:10:47

No it doesn't. It applies to wheelchairs.

If someone can't fold they could ask for help or get off and wait for the next bus.

The needs of a wheelchair user do not automatically take priority over those of another disabled person. If you check the equality act legislation you will see that it applies to anyone with a disability.

The bus company have a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments for a parent who cannot fold the buggy due to severe arthritis and the fact that there is no dedicated space for them does not change this.

Making someone get off a bus because they have arthritis is just as discriminatory as refusing to allow a wheelchair user on not to mention the problems that waiting for another bus in the cold and wet could cause to someone with arthritis.

It's easy to say "ask for help" but what if there is nobody around to help unfold the buggy at the end of the journey? It would be ideal if the driver were to help but what if " elf n safety" stops them.

Beastofburden Tue 24-Sep-13 14:15:51

If you have two disabled people who both need the space, the pragmatic thing is for the last one along to wait for the next bus. But most of the time this doesn't happen; it is non-disabled people being unhelpful to a single disabled user.

Velvet- its not just about being able to pack 'em on. you need to be able to evacuate a wheelchair in case of accidents. And secure the chair. And move up and down to the back of the bus. There would only be about ten sets per bus if you did that.

twistyfeet Tue 24-Sep-13 14:16:18

About time.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 14:16:45

number 5

Wheelchairs have priority.

ProudAS Tue 24-Sep-13 14:19:46

I agree beast and the key word is "disabled" not "wheelchair".

A colleague of mine uses a wheelchair but can (and often does) fold it and transfer to a regular seat. Another colleague has severe arthritis (like the case I mentioned) and having to wait an hour at a cold, draughty bus stop just so that a wheelchair could get on a bus would probably land her in one.

ProudAS Tue 24-Sep-13 14:21:28

Cat - a statement in the bus company's conditions of carriage does not over ride the equality act.

Thats just stagecoaches interpretation though, which doesnt specifically say they will kick off disabled parents with buggies, just that wheelchairs take priority over buggies.

And if you read the actual equality act it is not so clear either.

Proud, there are people with the exact same condition as me, to the exact same extent, who use a wheelchair. I choose not to, as i have two toddlers to get around.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 14:23:11

Yes, some people are lucky enough to be able to fold (but I'd reckon that very often isn't the case) but how would you expect someone unable to stand to do this?

One disability does not trump another and the space is not designated for disabled passengers, it is designated for wheelchair users.

Thymeout Tue 24-Sep-13 14:23:54

Living in London, here, you should know that most buses are every 10 mins. (20 at most) That's not long to wait for another one if you have to get off, which happens only rarely.

Plenty of people manage to fold their buggies, even with shopping, including me, and I'm a granny, getting on a bit. I've taken 2 under 5's all over London on my Freedom Pass. People are very helpful, outside the rush hour.

I think you're limiting your life unnecessarily. Give it a go. It's not as bad as you think.

This is good news, however, what would happen if you had twins in a buggy? My twins are 11 months old and can't walk. How would you hold two babies, a nappy bag and a big double buggy (and shopping if you had any?)

To paraphrase the disability/wheelchair parts of the equality act (which also covers race and religion, among other things in case you didnt know, as you said it only applies to wheelchairs) it says - allowances must be made for disabled people and there should be provisions for people in wheelchairs

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 14:28:33

Never, you'd get off the bus if you weren't able to get help from anyone else on the bus.

ProudAS Tue 24-Sep-13 14:28:55

In normal circumstances I agree but a parent with severe arthritis being unable to fold the buggy and crippled by having to wait for the next bus is not normal circumstances.

The legal obligation is to make reasonable adjustments for anyone with a disability and I'd hardly call making someone with arthritis wait an hour at a cold, draughty stop for the next bus reasonable.

I suspect that the bus company thought - we have a wheelchair space, any other disabled person would be fine ina regular seat and interpreted the act accordingly.

As a disabled person myself I have found that these policies often disadvantage us, are not properly thought through and discriminate against another disabled group.

Sirzy Tue 24-Sep-13 14:28:55

Good news, I hope this makes bus companies sit up and realise that they need to ensure that (barring other wheelchairs/mclaren major type prams) people who are diasabled can access the buses without the worry about others being in the way.

i think it will take a lot to stop the entitled attitude from parents who refuse to move though unfortunatly sad

Beastofburden Tue 24-Sep-13 14:29:42

Whenever you have two disabled people competing for the same resource it gets difficult. Then it comes back to what a reasonable adjustment is. IMHO the answer would be to ask another (able bodied) passenger to stand for the person with arthritis, as any seat would be fine for them, and allow the wheelchair into the larger space. In other words, if you can find another reasonable adjustment for the person with greater flexibility of need and solution, that is the best answer.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 14:30:03

I couldn't access the buses at all with my twins (aged 18 now and yes, I am ancient). So I had to walk everywhere, in all weathers. Such is life.

sneezecakesmum Tue 24-Sep-13 14:30:42

Can't believe the bus company is disappointed at the decision and is looking into it! Ffs what's to look at? Their policy was illegal, end of!

Beastofburden Tue 24-Sep-13 14:31:01

and of course someone would have to help them fold the buggy, sorry, should have said that.

Sad to think that in London this has to be formalised. Where I live I dont think you'd be left to struggle on your own, TBH.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 14:33:46

I can't see the problem with asking for help. If the bus is busy there's always someone willing to help. I have even seen drivers helping, holding babies etc to help people fold and also helping them when they get off too.

Maybe the drivers up here are generally nicer?

PatPig Tue 24-Sep-13 14:36:46

This decision is non-binding (being a County Court decision), except on FirstBus, who operate bus franchises in:

Berkshire & The Thames Valley
Bristol, Bath & The West
Calderdale and Huddersfield
Devon & Cornwall
Dorset & South Somerset
Greater Glasgow
Greater Manchester
Norfolk & Suffolk
South & West Wales
South East & Central Scotland
South Yorkshire
Staffordshire & South Cheshire
Worcestershire & Herefordshire York

The opposite decision was reached against Arriva, who are another major operator:

The Equalities Act isn't clear, hence two different judges coming to opposite conclusions.

So it isn't legally recognised at all.

Well if thats the question, why cant someone in a wheelchair just ask for help to fold it?

Because its fucking demeaning, thats why

SHarri13 Tue 24-Sep-13 14:41:18

I saw this this morning when dropping DS2 and Playschool.

Beastofburden Tue 24-Sep-13 14:41:56

er surely people are talking about folding buggies with limited stength and mobility, eg arthritis?

not many people would start folding the wheelchair, surely? and transferring to a seat and all the rest of it? that would be just nuts.

ProudAS Tue 24-Sep-13 14:42:23

I'm pretty sure there is nothing in the equality act about the layout of a bus meaning that one disablity trumps another.

Those of you who are saying that a wheelchair user has priority over a parent who cannot fold buggy due to severe arthritis what is the solution?

Making them wait for the next bus is not an option unless there is somewhere warm and dry to wait. Waiting in the cold and wet could exacerbate arthritis especially if the service is infrequent.

Help folding and unfolding seems like a more practical solution but could anyone enlighten me as to whether drivers are allowed to do this? Relying on other passengers is not an option as they may have alighted before the parent with arthritis.

Better still - could someone enlighten me as to what adjustments are in place to allow parents unable to fold buggies to access public transport? It appear that they are overlooked in the conditions of carriage cat mentioned despite the equality act applying to them?

I have arthritis and I push my daughters wheelchair, do I have greater priority over everyone?

Yes binky, you win smile

SHarri13 Tue 24-Sep-13 14:45:44 working link this time, check out the mums AND dads.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 14:47:37

Do you know what, ProudAS, what would help would be if everyone had a bit of compassion and could look further than their own shopping and offer help where it is needed? Or even offer help if it isn't. That way someone could help your friend access the bus and fold and there would be another person to help at the end of the journey.

Why aren't people just generally more helpful?

PrincessScrumpy Tue 24-Sep-13 14:49:36

I'm Cleary going to come across badly but where do you put your baby while you fold the buggy?
With twins I physically couldn't manage it but even with one baby it wouldn't be easy. Add in a full shopping basket and it would be a nightmare. Don't think this is mums being selfish imo but you can all be out raged and I'll carry on polluting in my car.

AmberLeaf Tue 24-Sep-13 14:51:30

It is totally do-able with one baby, buggy and bag/s.

How do you think parents coped before the bus designs were changed?

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 14:51:53

However do people think we managed before we were able to access buses with buggies?

I walked three miles to a hospital appointment, in driving snow, with a double buggy in 1996. It didn't kill me.

PatPig Tue 24-Sep-13 14:52:37

The Equality Act states:

"A person (P) has a disability if—
(a)P has a physical or mental impairment, and
(b)the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities."

There's no mention of wheelchairs at all.

"'substantial’ is more than minor or trivial - eg it takes much longer than it usually would to complete a daily task like getting dressed
‘long-term’ means 12 months or more - eg a breathing condition that develops as a result of a lung infection"

There is a full guide here:

"A man with achondroplasia has unusually short stature, and arms
which are disproportionate in size to the rest of his body. He has
difficulty lifting or manipulating everyday items like a vacuum
cleaner, or bulky items of household furniture, and has difficulty
opening moderately heavy doors, and operating revolving barriers
at the entrance to some buildings.
It would be reasonable to regard this as a substantial adverse effect
on normal day-to-day activities."

So basically if you are not physically capable of folding your pushchair, because of some physical limitation, then the bus company should not turf you off, and indeed to do so would be discriminatory.

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 14:53:09

Only had one baby at a time.
Baby on hip, fold buggy with one hand, shopping in my backpack.
Twins, I'd hand off one of them to a passenger on the bus whilst I folded the buggy.

Beastofburden Tue 24-Sep-13 14:53:43

ProudAs in the fairly rare circs where there is simultaneously a wheelchair user and a parent whose disability prevents him/her from folding their buggy but no other passengers on the bus at all... then I would think the driver would be able to find the time to help.

PatPig Tue 24-Sep-13 14:53:52

"I walked three miles to a hospital appointment, in driving snow, with a double buggy in 1996. It didn't kill me."

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 14:54:02

Send all busdrivers on a one day course on buggy folding, all the common varieties?

Beastofburden Tue 24-Sep-13 14:54:38

lol at silverapples, can MILS go too?

PrincessScrumpy Tue 24-Sep-13 14:55:24

I actually remember doing this on the Exeter park and ride when dd was 2mo. Nobody would help me lift my folded buggy on and with dd in my arms I struggled. Bus driver isn't insured to help.

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 14:56:28

Well, if their duties change and they have to become buggy adepts, there will be an insurance company jumping at the chance.

Beast, i meant why is it okay for one disabled group to have to ask for help, when it clearly wouldnt be okay to tell the other that they should? And that is why i wouldnt want to ask for help.

Please tell me that at least one person here arguing for the put-up-and-shut-up of disabled mums not in wheelchairs is actually a disabled mum themselves?

It is bloody awful to need to ask for help to do something that you should be able to do.

PatPig Tue 24-Sep-13 14:56:40

If I were a bus driver I wouldn't want to become a buggy folder and general baggage stower. Would fuck up your back.

People should take responsibility for their own luggage, it's a really bad idea to introduce lifting-type tasks into jobs.

Sirzy Tue 24-Sep-13 14:56:40

princess if you are really struggling to fold the pram with the baby aswell you could turn around and say "excuse me could someone give me a hand for a second"

It is much easier for someone with a pram (able bodied parent and child of course) to get assitance from another person on the bus than it is for someone with a disability meaning they are wheelchair bound.

MiaowTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 14:58:28

Long as there's provision for me to get off and wait for the next bus without having to pay the downright astronomical fares they charge here again, then I will get off happily since folding with two big but non walking babies isn't really viable.

I would quibble if they wanted to charge me the 6 quid bus fare again though because I got off to free up the space.

80sMum Tue 24-Sep-13 14:59:35

It never used to be the case that you could take an unfolded pushchair on a bus. That's why the McLaren buggy became so popular: it was lightweight and easy to fold. It just went without saying that you folded the buggy before getting on, sat with baby on lap and placed buggy in luggage rack.
I don't quite see why that's now become suddenly so difficult.

PrincessScrumpy Tue 24-Sep-13 14:59:40

Baby on hip only works once old enough, prem newborns I had needed more support.
I'm not anti disabled getting the spots just don't like the attitude of some that parents are selfish. Maybe i'm precious but I don't want to get on a bus a give my baby to a random stranger. Perhaps that's just me.

Gingersnap88 Tue 24-Sep-13 14:59:52

Thank goodness!

I went to visit my mother last week, and had to get a very busy London bus. I had DD in the sling so not a problem. Bus packed with a lady with her buggy in the wheelchair space. A guy in a wheelchair wanted to get on, and she point blank refused to move! I had to say to her that the guy wanted to get on, so she blocked the back doors with her buggy! So I said again that he would be getting on by the back doors and that she should fold her buggy and she literally had a temper tantrum because she couldn't fold her (empty) buggy. She ended up ramming it backwards into a group of people sitting down, not apologising and being in the way angry rude!

Sirzy Tue 24-Sep-13 15:00:46

I'm not anti disabled getting the spots just don't like the attitude of some that parents are selfish

Sorry but parents who won't move are selfish.

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 15:02:18

Princess, I used a sling when mine were under 6 months.
Then I just had the backpack and the changing bag.

Beastofburden Tue 24-Sep-13 15:05:26

beyond not saying put up and shut up at all! and have two disabled DC so not immune to the issues smile.

My original point is that it is a shame to object to this victory. because most of the time, the buggy user has no disability, and the wheelchair user is clearly deserving of that space.

Where two people with disabilities both need access to services, if at all possible we should try to adapt the solution so that both are included. Providing help is another form of reasonable adjustment; given that it will be rare to have a clash between two disabled users, as a back-up plan I tink it is pragmatic and fair. Other posters have said that waiting in the rain is bad for people with arthritis, which it is, but it's also bad for people in wheelchairs who may be vulnerable to pneumonia from impaired lung function and general activity levels. So if both can use the bus, that is a better answer. I know that the ideal world would have a seamless service; but in the imperfect world inwhich we live, would you personally really choose to leave a wheelchair user in the rain for the next bus rather than mention that folding buggies is difficult and could someone lend a hand? I would not have done this myself.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 15:05:36

Patpig grin Love that sketch.

It is true though. I had a lot of hospital appointments for ds, a less than useless husband, and a bloody long walk each and every time - there and back. Hospital transport wasn't so accessible either back then so it was walk or no appointment.

5madthings Tue 24-Sep-13 15:08:30

Use a sling, get off and walk or fold up your buggy and yes its precious to not to have someone hold your baby for a minute whilst you fold up the buggy.

I have given mine to people on the bus to be held and I have held other babies and helped other parents. The space is for wheelchair users, it's as nice bonus that you can use the space for the pushchair but that's all it is and a wheelchair user has priority.

I use the bus and trains all the time, have just asked for help when necessary there is always someone who will help and I help others when I can, holding shopping or baby to folding a pram etc.

jacksgrannie Tue 24-Sep-13 15:11:33

Agree with YoutheCat. I really am an old gimmer now, but I had two small children under three, a fold-up pushchair and had to take the bus - it wasn't a problem as I recall. The wheelchair space should be kept for wheelchairs and any disabled buggies. No wheelchair user should have to worry needlessly about whether they will be able to get on the bus.

I recently travelled on a bus in South Devon - little bus, no big space for pushchair. A mum got on with 3 small children. She gave one to the driver, one to a lady on the front seat, the other child sat down by herself and mum then folded the buggy got on the bus and retrieved the children!

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 15:14:40

It's not as if you are handing your precious bubs to a stranger and then shoving off for a couple of hours.
You are letting someone else hold your child for less than a minute whilst you are right there in front of them. hmm

One test I did before buying a pram was the one handed fold. If it took more than one hand and a foot to fold the pram I didn't buy it. That way if I was travelling on a bus I could hold baby and shopping in one hand whilst the other folded the pram.

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 15:15:53

Oh yes, I did that too BInky. And we had a can of WD40 to make life easier.

WD40 was that for the baby? grin

UptheChimney Tue 24-Sep-13 15:18:03

I've been forced off a bus and not allowed on one due to not enough space, missing drs appointments

There are taxis, you know.

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 15:19:17

Made handing it to a stranger more entertaining. grin

Beast, it wasnt you that i thought was saying it smile

As i said in my first post, I just think it would be easier if all disability related reasons for priority for the space were classed together, and the first disabled person there had the right to stay there. And any extras who then need the space can be the ones who are helped to use a standard seat. Cause even amongst wheelchair users there could be arguments about who deserves the space more!
(In my area btw, there are 2 wheelchair / four buggy spaces, hence why this is all theoretical)

And most of all, clarity of what exactly the law is.

UptheChimney Tue 24-Sep-13 15:22:44

I can't believe there are people out there who would refuse to let a disabled person have the space

Oh there are. I've seen it. Entitled parents who laugh at a wheelchair user. And look at some of the responses on this thread. Saying it's discriminatory to require parents to fold prams!

We're ALL of us only TABs: Temporarily Able Bodied.

Thymeout Tue 24-Sep-13 15:23:36

Gingersnap This happened to me, tho' the mother in question did have a sleeping 3/4 yr old but in easily foldable buggy. I offered to help her fold, but it was "I was here first" and "I'm not waking him up".

The bus driver just played the 'Please vacate the wheelchair area' message on a loop' till one of the other passengers said, 'Get off the bus then, you silly caah.' (London) So she did.

Felt so sorry for the embarrassed wheelchair user, though.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 15:25:41

I always factored in at least an extra half an hour if I had to make it to appointments. I'd rather have to wait an extra half hour in a waiting room than be late and inconvenience others.

I have only once seen a wheelchair user not able to get on a bus and that was because the space was already occupied by a wheelchair. Luckily we have plenty of buses. And tbh I've only seen a pushchair user have to be asked to fold twice as well - and there were plenty of willing helpers.

Beastofburden Tue 24-Sep-13 15:28:10

beyond I understand why you are saying that there is no hierarchy of whose disability matters most. I agree with that completely. I wonder about the exact solution you have put forward, though- only because a blind person, for example, could be asked to move to another seat and then both the blind person and the wheelchair user can travel. But I do see the grey area where folding things up becomes almost as bad as waiting for the next bus.

In a rural area where it's two buses a day I could see an argument for the make do and mend approach; in London I could see an argument for the first come first served approach.

Actually what I think is an even bigger scandal is the cost and availability of a decent wheelchair taxi. Unless you drive, you are in the hands of these taxis and they do not provide a flexible and fair service, oh no. Unless you have a diddy little wheelchair that you can get ito a standard cab, you are stuffed if they cancel. Which they do far too often considering what they charge angry

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 15:31:00

The situation is a bit shit, Beast. Which makes the fact that there are wheelchair spaces even more important, and that the spaces are used properly.

Beastofburden Tue 24-Sep-13 15:32:25


Still in shock at able bodied parents saying its unfair to be asked to fold their buggies

UptheChimney Tue 24-Sep-13 15:34:17

Fantastic that he won the ruling but very sad that it was necessary in the first place. As far as I can see, it's very clear. Those spaces are specifically for wheelchair users, and were fought for very hard. As a concession, if the space is not needed, it can be used for pushchairs at the driver's discretion.I don't understand how people can argue that they shouldn't be asked to leave the bus if a wheelchair user needs the space.At the risk of sounding ancient and stroppy, many of us took babies and toddlers on public transport before you were allowed to wheel a pushchair on. We managed.

Agreed. And I remember just walking. A lot. Or using taxis.

I think the real problem is the concession that if a space is not needed for a wheelchair user, then it can have a couple of buggies in it.

Because what happens -- or what I've seen happen -- is that the driver, and the passengers, assume the bus is full, and so don't even allow other passengers including wheelchair users, on the bus in the first place.

It seems to me that's part of the problem with not folding: the whole kit & caboodle takes up so much room -- more than a folded stroller or buggy, and then the parent + child sitting in the normal part of the bus. So it looks as though the bus is full, when it actually isn't.

And let's not get started on school children with free travel, barging in and taking up seats so that full fare paying adult passengers have to stand!

Dons flameproof armour and wonders when I became an old fogey

Ah, now my buses also have seats designated for sight issues and people with reduced mobility but who dont require the wheelchair space. Beginning to appreciate my bus company!

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 15:37:03

UptheChimney, we need an old fogey club. grin

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 15:39:00

<waits nicely for her OF badge>

Beastofburden Tue 24-Sep-13 15:39:26

I had three, aged just four and under, back in the early 1990s and we never went near a bus; buses were the transport from hell. We walked mainly.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 15:44:28

I remember taking twins (aged about 5 months) on the train to the metrocentre. Only did it once, never ever again with a double buggy.

IcaMorgan Tue 24-Sep-13 15:49:20

I am in a wheelchair and have been left at the bus stop on 3 occasions in the last 5 months - 1 because a woman refused to fold a double buggy, 1 because the driver wouldn't ask the 2 buggies already on there to fold and 1 because the driver refused to put the ramp down even though the space was free

If a buggy gets on after I am on I will hold the baby/toddler so it can be folded

It is really embarrassing sitting there while a mother argues/refuses to fold as everyone looks at you for being the cause of it

I've been sworn at and shouted at by mothers who've been asked to fold

Last week after I got on the bus the ramp wouldn't go back in so the driver took a few minutes to sort it out and so many people were moaning that the ramp had to be used in the first place and I was making them late

I try and avoid school run time as I know there will be huge problems getting on the bus

WestieMamma Tue 24-Sep-13 15:57:24

What non-folders are too short-sighted to see is that ultimately they will be the ones who lose out. Them and all the sensible, considerate pram users. Bus companies operate on a shoe string they cannot afford to take the risk that they will have to pay out £5000+ every time someone in a wheelchair cannot access the space. They also cannot operate a reliable service if every time someone refuses to fold they have to stay put in a half hour stand off or wait for the police to arrive. They'll have no option but to require all pushchairs to be folded before getting on.

UptheChimney Tue 24-Sep-13 15:57:50

IcaMorgan I feel I need to apologize to you on behalf of all able-bodied tossers. Really really distressing & depressing to read of your experiences.

I wonder if there's a MN campaign in this somewhere?

To reinforce that wheelchair spaces are for wheelchairs
To encourage passengers to help each other and especially parents loaded with children & shopping so that there's room for everyone (I'll always hold a baby for anyone! I miss holding babies cos mine's now a strapping lad)
To encourage bus companies to be really clear about policies
To encourage bus designers to ask those with mobility impairments and parents to see if they can co-operate in new designs

Oh, there's a lot to do, isn't there? To make public transport really serve its users.

I wonder if it's because "public transport" is seen as only for 2nd-rate citizens (remember Thatcher's opinions of those who took buses to work?)

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 16:02:53

Ica, that makes for depressing reading. I can only imagine being the one being denied your right to that space is even more depressing.

This is why people should speak up if someone won't fold, even if it doesn't affect them directly.

And anyone who tuts at having 5 minutes put on their journey so that someone using a wheelchair can access a bus, is an absolute twat and should be ashamed of themselves.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 24-Sep-13 16:04:35

Ica DD has been sworn at, too. She just looks at them and says, yes, but I'm beautiful and clever, what have you other than working legs? grin
As for the twins argument, I had twins, one of whom was disabled and a 19 month old. We managed, and we ALWAYS moved for those who needed it more, until dd was too big for a buggy and moved on to a Major.

deepfriedsage Tue 24-Sep-13 16:05:35

Horah, great news op.

Shame on the disablist buggy fold refusing people having to force law changes, by their selfish behavior.

BanjoPlayingTiger Tue 24-Sep-13 16:05:44

Having met the guy who took this action, I'm not at all surprised he won.

However I am also amazed at those parents who seem to think it is an impossibility to get on a bus having folded a buggy. It's tricky at first, but you get used to it quite quickly. Is it because the newer buggies, though looking quite cool, are actually rubbish for getting on and off public transport? We just deliberately picked a buggy that was easy to fold one handed.
Can someone explain to this mum of older kids why it's more difficult to fold nowadays?

UptheChimney Tue 24-Sep-13 16:06:31

And anyone who tuts at having 5 minutes put on their journey so that someone using a wheelchair can access a bus, is an absolute twat and should be ashamed of themselves
Yes, I agree. When London buses first started accommodating wheelchairs, I remember finding it fascinating to watch how the mechanics of it worked. That more than made up for the 2 or 3 minutes it took for a wheelchair user to exit the bus. The technology on those buses is awesome -- makes me think it could be even better and more passenger-friendly if designers & companies really put their minds to it.

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 24-Sep-13 16:22:04

If a parent using a buggy is disabled themselves and thus, cannot fold their buggy, then I'd hope that other passengers would help. Standing there and refusing to move if you're an ambulatory disabled person will make you come across as a twat. Just be honest, say you've got a physical condition. Yes, I know it's a PITA to tell a bus load of randomers you have a disability but if people can't tell by looking at you, you cannot expect them to be psychic.

nickelbabe Tue 24-Sep-13 16:35:49

I'm sure that a disabled parent would explain the problem "i can't fold the buggy, but i want to if someone would help" rather than refusing.

Ah a 'don't be a twat' bit of legislation.

wannaBe Tue 24-Sep-13 16:49:05

What the parents with buggies seem to have overlooked is the fact that, were it not for the need for wheelchair access, the space for their precious buggies wouldn’t exist in the first place. And oh yes someone always trots out the “what if another disabled parent...” well yes, but let’s be honest, there is not a massive number of disabled parents in cvomparison to non disabled parents is there? If the scenario occurs where another disabled parent who happens to have a buggy they are not able to fold is in that space then adjustments can be made. But that is about common sense. Anything else is just about entitlement. And IME parents with buggies are some of the most entitled people I’ve ever come across.

edam Tue 24-Sep-13 16:55:06

Ica, that's very depressing to hear. Sorry you've come up against so many selfish gits.

When all London buses were made accessible, I accompanied a woman who uses a wheelchair for a day. It was eye-opening just how hard everything was, even with accessible buses. One driver failed to stop 'because I thought it was kids ringing the bell' - he had forgotten there was a wheelchair user on board who was legitimately using the wheelchair-height bell. Then on her final stop, some idiot in a white van had parked in the bus stop, meaning the driver couldn't lower the ramp.

The bus driver beeped at the van driver, who started arguing the toss. The bus driver got out to give the van driver a piece of his mind, and van driver gave in and pissed off - when the driver got back to our bus, the passengers gave him a round of applause. grin But it must be ruddy exhausting when every time you leave your house it's a sodding battle. Even before you get to the bus, there's all the inconsiderate wankers who block dropped kerbs - not just parked cars but sandwich boards, cafe chairs, people having a natter while their buggy is in the way...

AmberLeaf Tue 24-Sep-13 17:01:02

I'm not anti disabled getting the spots just don't like the attitude of some that parents are selfish

That is because there are lots of selfish parents with buggies on buses.

Maybe i'm precious but I don't want to get on a bus a give my baby to a random stranger. Perhaps that's just me

It is a bit precious, but a way round it would be to learn to manage on your own, like I had to pre buggy boardable buses.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 17:09:59

But some parents are selfish, or there wouldn't have been any need for the man in the OP to have taken a bus company to court. hmm

mrsfrumble Tue 24-Sep-13 17:41:25

Good, I'm glad to hear this!

I had an uncomfortable experience just before we left London, when I caught the bus with my toddler in his pushchair. The bus was quiet, so I parked the pushchair with him strapped in (he was a serious bolster back then) and sat down next to him. I was sleep deprived (thanks to newborn DD who was in the sling) and a bit dozey, not paying attention to what was going on around us, until I heard the driver say "I can't let you on, there's a buggy in the space". I realized that the bus was stopped, and he was talking to a woman in a wheelchair who was waiting to get on. I immediately jumped up and shouted to the driver to open the door so that I could get off and she could on. Then a young man actually stood up and blocked my exit, saying I shouldn't get off as I was there first!

I managed to push past him and jump off. I didn't dare look at the woman in the wheelchair, I was so mortified that she must have thought I'd refused to move! We walked the rest of the way to the shops, and I felt upset and embarrassed for the rest of the day, even though I hadn't done anything wrong other than be a bit slow on the uptake.

I was pissed off with the driver who just assumed I wouldn't shift (or was just using my presence as excuse because he couldn't be arsed to operate the ramp) and the man who tried to stop me getting off. Hopefully this legal recognition will educate them.

mrsfrumble Tue 24-Sep-13 17:42:43

DS was a serious BOLTER, not bolster of course!

Trigglesx Tue 24-Sep-13 17:44:57

A couple random thoughts after reading...

Those on the Exeter buses are obviously not choosing the right routes. When DS was little (he's 7yo now), I had people offering to hold him all the time and people offering to help with the pushchair (although I had practiced at home, so could do it one-handed). A couple times, the elderly women that were holding DS told me "oh come sit by me, dear, so I can hold on to this little one just a bit longer." grin Funny, some of them were.

I've seen a London bus driver turn off the bus and refuse to move until the pushchair person complied. Peer pressure is amazing - people were telling her just fold it or get off. She finally gave in (not happily, but too bad). And that was quite awhile ago.

As a parent of a child that uses a wheelchair, there is nothing more frustrating than having to explain to your 7yo (who also has comprehension problems and ASD) that "yes, the bus is here, but no we can't get on because there is a pushchair in the way. We'll have to wait for the next bus." And then having to explain it again when it happens again, while he is sobbing that he just wants to go home. While other people (not in a wheelchair) get on - so he sees that it's just us that can't get on. Cue complete meltdown.

Some days I think they ought to just limit radar keys properly and then put some type of barricade in front of the wheelchair spot on the bus that requires radar key. grin But then that's just me.

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Tue 24-Sep-13 17:47:39

The discussion of whether a person with a disability that isn't visible should give up the space for a wheelchair is made even more difficult by the fact that there are lot of people out there who would take advantage of that. Unless there was some way of identifying like carrying a card or something, what's to stop the selfish people who don't fold now out of laziness making up a disability? The same people whose "pram doesn't fold" or "the babies asleep" will use it as there new excuse. And no driver will be able to argue it.

Trigglesx Tue 24-Sep-13 17:49:05

When DS1 was in his Maclaren Major, I just carried a copy of his DLA award. If there was ever any question, it was right there with his name on it. Never needed it thankfully.

thefuturesnotourstosee Tue 24-Sep-13 18:01:27

Coming very late to this but quite agree with you op. I was on a crowded but with ds yesterday and a lady in a wheel chair got on. I got up stood and started to fold the pram. Only trouble was I was then standing with a wriggly one year old and trying to hold the pram as well as no space on tiny luggage rack but not for long as she quickly offered to take him on her lap and held him there. Lovely lady smile

Being able to take pram on bus is a privilege not a right

I did notice on the bus today in London (I was actually going to take a photo of it for a thread like this, but my phone fucked up) that the notices now clearly state the space is for Wheelchair users and that buggies and prams may use it unless it is needed in which case they MUST vacate the space. I must admit I did a silent whoop.

thefuturesnotourstosee Tue 24-Sep-13 18:06:45

sorry meant to add part of the problem is that on our buses at least when you have folded the pram there is very little space to put it. They need to sort that out. Buses used to have lots of storage space and its getting steadily less

sparklesandbling Tue 24-Sep-13 18:07:45

Good on the man that took the bus co to court.

I think in general bus companies especially the one in the article need training on what is a mobility device (not just wheelchairs).

Children nowadays are being offered child friendly mobility aids which don't look like the traditional wheelchair.

For instance our DD has a mobility pushchair and was refused entry onto bus because a pushchair was there, DH argued that as pushchair was in fact for mobility of disabled DD and was issued from wheelchair services in the nhs that we should be allowed on.

Thankfully other parents of pushchair were nice and folded but what a pita!

I felt eyes burning into the back of my head the whole time I was on bus and apologised loads. I would hate to feel like that again so god knows what it is like for wheelchair users!

SilverApples Tue 24-Sep-13 18:12:48

'DS was a serious BOLTER, not bolster of course!'

That's your mistake, Mrsf. They find it harder to bolt if you are sitting on them. grin

ihearsounds Tue 24-Sep-13 18:33:37

I think this is fabulous.

TO all the moaners out there, complaining about how it's not far on the buggies.... You do realise that once upon a time, you had to fold. You dealt with it. Because you knew this would happen everytime you wanted to use the bus, you bought a buggy that was fit for your needs. You didn't buy a buggy that was the size of a small car, and weighed a ton. The space was put on the bus to allow wheelchairs some freedom and independence. Wheelchair users campaigned to get the space. What then happened was people saw buggies in the space, not realising they were chairs designed for youngsters with disabilities, and started arguing with drivers to also use this space.

People used to be nice and realise what the intention of the space was for... Now, some buggy users don't give a shit and will sit there, sometimes with an empty buggy and play ignorance when a wheelchair wants to get onto the bus.

I really hope the law is withheld nationwide. Will be very nice not having to watch countless buses go past.

UptheChimney Tue 24-Sep-13 18:57:06

For instance our DD has a mobility pushchair and was refused entry onto bus because a pushchair was there, DH argued that as pushchair was in fact for mobility of disabled DD and was issued from wheelchair services in the nhs that we should be allowed on

I think this is the problem as I've observed it.

That lots of people say "Oh of course, I would fold if anyone needed the space." But then if the space is filled however a bus driver has to look quite carefully to check just who/what is filling the space, and then make a really quick judgement about requiring the space-user to fold their buggy.

If people were required to fold push chairs etc, then this wouldn't arise.

I feel sorry for bus drivers. They have to manage the passengers on the bus (anything up to 50 people or more) and drive, and keep to timetable, and follow the law about accessibility, and deal with selfish twats.

sparklesandbling Tue 24-Sep-13 19:19:07

yes I agree but in our instance DD was wearing a visible helmet and the pushchair has a footplate so is more obviously not a pushchair but I think training is key for this and to deal with the selfish twats of the world.

Oh and clear and concise signs (where space is on bus and on entering bus) about the space being just for wheelchair users or disabled pushchairs.

mrsfrumble Tue 24-Sep-13 19:21:32

I agree that bus drivers have a lot to deal with, but is quick shout of "wheelchair user boarding, please fold pushchairs" really such a big deal? I'm prepared to be told I'm unreasonable and that I was completely in the wrong in the situation I described above....

We live in the US now and all pushchairs MUST be folded on buses. I don't mind, toddler is much better behaved now and we have a car so I don't need to try and get a weeks worth of groceries home on the bus. But when we lived in London I used to sigh with relief if I could board a bus and not have to unstrap Tasmanian devil toddler, unload the shopping and fold.

I suppose in my nice little idealistic / unrealistic world it would be nice if buses could be as accessible as possible for everyone, with of course a hierarchy of need. Hopefully legal recognition and explicit signage on buses will help without folding pushchairs becoming an automatic requirement in the UK like it is here.

UptheChimney Tue 24-Sep-13 19:22:10

sparklesandbling I wasn't taking issue with your need at all! Rather sympathising about you not being allowed on. Sorry I wasnt clear

My view is that people who are able-bodied with pushchairs should fold first rather than wait until the space is needed. Because otherwise, its all too easy for a bus driver to think that the space is full up.

And on a crowded bus, its hard to rearrange yourself & a small child -- easier to do it before you get on.

sparklesandbling Tue 24-Sep-13 19:24:46

upthechimney no offence taken whatsoever! please don't feel you have to apologise smile

Sirzy Tue 24-Sep-13 19:25:24

If people were required to fold push chairs etc, then this wouldn't arise.

I think given the amount of issues that disabled people encounter this is the way forward. Perhaps with some sort of pass system for those who have a child with a disability in a pram or a disability themselves which would make it hard to collapse a pram to give them exception.

I don't understand why people who know they will be using public transport don't plan when buying a buggy and make sure they get one which is easy to fold.

Trigglesx Tue 24-Sep-13 19:34:24

The problem with just explicit signage is the number of people that feel that rules don't apply to them - many of them have pushchairs. hmm

cantsleep Tue 24-Sep-13 19:49:56

I hate buses and no longer use them.

All my dcs have disabilities and use buggy/wheelchair or need to have a seat yet on so many occasions people have been horrible and I had to explain why I couldn't fold the buggy/why ds couldn't stand up for an elderly lady etc. I went through a phase of just showing blue badge if questioned then decided to give up as where I am the bus are always busy and the people rude to the point it was upsetting for dcs.

hazeyjane Tue 24-Sep-13 19:55:37

I wish they would issue a card when a child is awarded DLA that could be shown, when boarding a bus with a disabled child in a standard or sn buggy. We have had to miss appointments or had appointments ruined when ds was in a non sn buggy, because we had to fold for a younger baby in a pram. Waking ds up to get him out, resulted in him screaming for the entire journey, and by the time we got to the hospital he was so hysterical they couldn't do the test.

Trigglesx Tue 24-Sep-13 19:58:34

Maybe it's time to start doing that, hazeyjane? I know it's a bit of a return to the "registered disabled" but perhaps needs must? It could be shown on entering the bus so the driver is aware right away.

Trigglesx Tue 24-Sep-13 20:01:05

The blue badge would work too - although many children that have mobility issues do not qualify or do not receive a blue badge.

DS1 qualifies for high rate mobility, but only got LRM. I was really too tired and stressed at the time to push it further (marriage falling apart, had bigger concerns going on). But many times it would have been nice not to deal with the hassle of being told to fold his Maclaren Major when I shouldn't have needed to, as the driver assumed it was a standard pushchair.

SnowyMouse Tue 24-Sep-13 20:01:08

Can disabled children not apply for a national concessionary pass?

AnaisB Tue 24-Sep-13 20:02:53

If people were required to fold their pushchairs i would not be able to get around. I could not fold and look after 2 kids and could not lift buggy into the luggage rack (minor phys health issue). Looking after two little ones on the bus is a nightmare too.

In the past i've pushed the pushchair under the luggage rack or got off the bus to make room for people in wheelchairs. Both of which i have no problem with.

kungfupannda Tue 24-Sep-13 20:04:16

People keep saying "buses should accommodate parents better."

People with disabilities used to say "buses should accommodate wheelchair users better."

The difference is that the latter group actually made an effort to do something about it.

All these people who want better provision for buggy users - you are the group who wants the change and the onus is therefore on you to seek that change.

No point moaning about it on threads about provision that disability campaigners spent years fighting for.

Instead of saying "we should have a campaign", go and start a campaign.

cantsleep Tue 24-Sep-13 20:06:39

I'd prefer to show a card than feel as if I have to give my dcs complete medical history to a busload of tutting passengers.

The comments we have had when ds has needed a seat have been dreadful-"well he looks fine to me" and "how disgusting that she lets her child sit while we all stand" said while glaring at me, and from another mother with a buggy who wanted me to fold dds buggy so she could get on shouting at me that she had "a newborn not a massive toddler who could stand"

If cards were introduced I would consider using buses again but for now I will just spend money I don't really have on taxis.

cantsleep Tue 24-Sep-13 20:08:42

Cards would be better as I have felt uncomfortable showing blue badge as it has dcs name on.

Zara1984 Tue 24-Sep-13 20:16:07

Very glad this guy's case was successful.

People that get in a flap about having to fold up prams perplex me. I have friends who won't even take the bus because of the risk this might happen confused

If there is someone in a wheelchair or another buggy already in the space/wheelchair person boarding I (1) give DS to someone else to hold (2) put any shopping in the seat where I will be sitting or in the bag storage area (3) fold up buggy. And yes I have done this while bus is moving.

In fact often the person in the wheelchair often offers to hold DS or my bag for me while I pack up the bag. And if not there is 99.9% of the time another parent or a coo-ing granny who is delighted to hold DS.

If I am the person in the wheelchair space with my buggy I always offer to hold the child of the person coming on/folding up buggy.

If I am in a big city eg London I always use the sling.

If I have to wake up DS that's just TOO BAD because errr it's public transport innit. I wouldn't tell a pilot of an aircraft they couldn't depart because DS was asleep in his pram at the gate....

What great news! Good on that bloke for establishing a test case, let's hope for some progress in this issue like some fines for bus companies.

Morgause Tue 24-Sep-13 20:22:55

We're lucky with our buses. There are 4 buggy spaces and a wheelchair space (which can hold 2 buggies if not in use). Normally that is more than enough for everyone.

The problem with forcing people to fold biggies is where to put them when they are folded. There is virtually no luggage space on any bus these days.

Where do those who insist that buggies are folded expect people to put them?

Zara1984 Tue 24-Sep-13 20:26:27

The space that is directly to your right when you board the bus.

If there is no space for you to fold and store your buggy you have to get off the bus. Simples. It's the risk you take using public transport.

Morgause Tue 24-Sep-13 20:38:05

The space directly to the right on our buses has a seat. The space for luggage behind that is a shallow tray over the wheel that just about holds the free Metro copies.

If, as some people are saying, buggies must be folded anyway then there should be space to hold them, surely? Bus companies cannot insist that buggies are folded unless there is somewhere to put them.

My DCs are long grown and I had a folding buggy when they were small, which I always folded and put in the luggage space that existed on buses then.

mrsfrumble Tue 24-Sep-13 20:39:39

There's no luggage storage at all on the buses here, so I bought a lightweight umbrella fold stroller and I stand it upright between my knees. It's a bit of a pain with the baby in the sling on my front and toddler on one knee, but it's bearable because my fellow passengers are without exception helpful and considerate, and there's ALWAYS at least one person who jumps up to help me when I get on or off.

Which is what gives me the idea that a shared accessible space could work in the UK / London if people were a bit kinder and more sensible, and understood the rules of moving when someone with greater need boards the bus.

The thoroughly depressing experiences recounted on this thread make me realize how unrealistic I'm being though....

domesticslattern Tue 24-Sep-13 20:43:11

The funny thing about the London transport poster linked to upthread is that the silhouettes are, I believe, of two prams which would be utter bastards to fold. So those people would need to get off the bus. There needs to be much much better understanding among pram purchasers that the £900 bells and whistles pram with the huge wheel base and the inability to fold with a single well aimed kick, will mean baby has a lovely ride but occasionally you'll be left at the bus stop.
I think also that we haven't mentioned that, let's face it, it is pretty rare that a wheelchair user needs the space. I catch buses daily and can count on two hands the number of times I have needed to fold for a wheelchair user. So it's not some giant imposition. Whereas they face the battle for space more frequently. It is much more often that I need to fold for another buggy usually because some berk chose an enormopram she can't fold so I have to yank DD2 out and fold mine, even if I was there first and have to juggle sleeping baby, bags, yelling DD1 etc.

Viviennemary Tue 24-Sep-13 20:44:09

Oh good. But thankfully most people are not so selfish and entitled and ignorant rude and pathetic that they would refuse to fold their pushchair.

Changebagsandgladrags Tue 24-Sep-13 20:45:27

I have folded my pushchair loads of times on the bus. OK, it is a PITA but not impossible.

What is impossible is if you attempt to fold the buggy while getting all your bags off, holding the baby and the driver drives off.

I've had to stand holding a buggy and a baby before because no bugger would let me sit down. In this situation I think it's dangerous, and were this the situation I may refuse to fold.

(although I am past those years now thankfully).

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 24-Sep-13 20:57:11

Changesbags It is not impossible, it is just very difficult. What is impossible is to get my paralysed friend to hop out of his wheelchair to fold it on the bus.

StuntGirl Tue 24-Sep-13 21:23:13

People in wheelchairs should get preference for the space, always.

Prams should be folded before getting on the bus.

Buses should ensure they have adequate space to store folded prams.

I don't know when it became this big issue. As a child my mother didn't get a car 'til I was in primary school. Before that we walked everywhere. We occasionally got the bus if we were travelling to the nearest town. Back then prams had to be folded so I assume that's what she did. I really don't know when we became so precious about this.

LaGuardia Tue 24-Sep-13 21:27:50

If everyone caught cabs this sort of thing would not need to be discussed.

Changebagsandgladrags Tue 24-Sep-13 21:35:12

I suppose that was in the days that you could actually get all your shopping locally without having to bus out to a supermarket out of town. Or you went to a primary school within walking distance instead of them all being full.

I'm sure most of these pram people on the bus aren't getting the bus for the fun of it.

However, I agree, prams should be folded if a wheelchair needs the space. But, allowances need to be made for the person with the pram too (time to fold, a seat, time to get off the bus). If the person with the pram has to get off, then they need a refund.

WafflyVersatile Tue 24-Sep-13 21:37:45

I'm disappointed that First said it was disappointed rather than saying 'we're glad to have legal weight behind our bus drivers when they ask buggy users to fold them'

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 21:42:15

I don't think prams should be on a bus at all. If you want to use the bus get a stroller/light weight buggy.

0utnumbered Tue 24-Sep-13 21:43:02

Just to give another perspective..

Wheelchair users are more often than not using a wheelchair because they do not have use of their legs or have limited use of their legs. Little children who are using a pushchair also usually have little or no use of their legs yet. What gives a wheelchair user more right to travel safely than a child? Yes a parent chose to have their child but the child did not choose to be born!

I have a condition called cerebellar chiari which affects my balance and causes me to lose feeling in my hands and arms occasionally. I would struggle massively to hold on to my unsteady two year old as well as my 3 month old baby whilst folding my double pushchair as well as the changing bag, my handbag and any shopping I might have then hanging on to all this whilst the bus is moving. Just because someone does not have a wheelchair or they don't 'look' disabled this does not mean they do not find travelling a challenge. Because of this I am unsure as to whether I will be allowed a driving licence yet, I cannot afford to apply for one and pay for lessons at the moment.

If a wheelchair user was trying to get on the bus and I was just off shopping or something unimportant I would get off and wait for another bus or walk without a second thought. If I had to go to a hospital appointment or something of importance this would really worry me as I would of planned myself lots of time to get to where I need to go in case of problems with buses! If we are all paying the same price for a service I don't see why it can't just be first come first serve as you do not know the background & reasonings behind what looks like someone flat out refusing to fold their pushchair just to be an arsehole. That may not be the case.

twistyfeet Tue 24-Sep-13 21:48:09

Perhaps you'd like to start a campaign then Outnumbered, like wheelchair users did. To raise awareness of disabled parents using buggies. Wheelchair users spent decades getting those spaces. What would you have done if they didnt exist?

Zara1984 Tue 24-Sep-13 21:49:27

0utnumbered I certainly have sympathy for you but surely you would just ask the other people on the bus to hold your children and your bags? Even if they don't offer? This is what I do and I have no health impediments! I have never been refused help either.

It should not be first come first serve because wheelchair users don't have any other option than to wait for another bus. You have the option to fold down your buggy, albeit with difficulty if you don't have help.

Zara1984 Tue 24-Sep-13 21:50:41

What twistyfeet said too ^

Sirzy Tue 24-Sep-13 21:52:42

Wheelchair users are more often than not using a wheelchair because they do not have use of their legs or have limited use of their legs.

Of course, they are using it for fun aren't they! hmm

Outnumbered, I tried explaining upthread, it didnt work then either.

It is not alright to ask a person with a wheelchair that they fold it with assistance. So why is it okay to ask a disabled mum to fold a pushchair. The equality act states that the provision must be made for disabled people and people in wheelchairs, if there were two wheelchairs one would have to fold or wait, one may well feel more entitled to the space but if theres one space and two people, what more can be done then.

Lung problems are not problems with their legs and are a quite common reason why someone may be in a wheelchair.

time4anamechange Tue 24-Sep-13 22:04:44

Where are you supposed to put a folded buggy on the bus??

On the first bus I use (greater Manchester area) there are spaces for one wheel chair and space for 2 buggies. But if I were need to fold down I wouldn't know where to put buggy then.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 24-Sep-13 22:11:12

What gives a wheelchair user more right to travel safely than a child? hmm

I understand and accept that you have a problem, however, surely asking for a little help is the sensible option, here.

Diabetes, ms, me/cfs, all examples of illnesses that may require a wheelchair but not be paralysed.

Sirzy Tue 24-Sep-13 22:15:46

Doesn't make it any easier for them to get up, collapse their wheelchair and store it though: however you look at it that is an impossible ask whereas for someone with a pram (if able bodied) it is possible.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 22:18:54

I'd love to see someone ask if a person on a bus can just hold onto their 14st husband for them whilst they fold their wheelchair for the convenience of a buggy user. grin

The point is, a baby can be held, even if you have to rely on help from strangers, it can be done.

But both outnumbered and I are posting as disabled mums, just not wheelchair users.

I don't disagree at all with the long list of adjectives in this thread for selfish non-folders, just don't like being lumped in with them.

YouTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 22:24:14

I think the distinction has to be would you ask for help for yourself in order that everyone can be accommodated?

edam Tue 24-Sep-13 22:25:59

Well then, if a wheelchair user gets on the bus, explain that you are disabled yourself and need help.

Zara1984 Tue 24-Sep-13 22:29:45

If there is no buggy space on the bus you have to use a sling or take the risk you have to get off the bus.

The bus has a WHEELCHAIR SPACE. It does not have a BUGGY SPACE FOR USE BY DISABLED PARENTS. The law is black and white and unfortunately it does not take into account all circumstances. By all means there should be lobbying for public transport companies to have to offer more buggy spaces/more access for people with all sorts of disabilities, including disabled parents with children/disabled children.

But this is not an argument you can really have when there is a person in a wheelchair wanting to come on the bus. The space is for a wheelchair. That's that. Unfortunately you are put at a disadvantage. I 100% sympathise with the fact that it's not entirely fair to disabled parents like outnumbered and beyond. But there's not really room for negotiating/arguing these grey points when someone needs to get on the bus.

I would say lobby for reform with similarly affected parents. Contact your MP. In the meantime ask for help from other passengers to fold down your buggy and hold your children/bags.

Re the 14 stone man, I would ask if someone could help if it were for a fourteen stone man who was completely paralysed. I'd probably do it anyway, cause i tend to go out of my way to please people in public, at the detriment to my health already. But it should not be automatic that wheelchair trumps any other disability, as i said upthread, people with the same condition as me use wheelchairs

So me #1 gets on the bus pushing a pram, loaded up with shopping, with toddler holding on to the side, sits at one foldy seat with toddler on lap holding buggy. Me #2 gets on bus in wheelchair with no children. Same condition. Me#1 has to stand up, fold buggy, and move with two children, while still holding the folded up buggy, just so me#2 doesnt have to fold her wheelchair?

Please tell me you can see where i'm coming from with this, i'm not just trying to be the random disablist bitch who comes first no matter what.

Zara1984 Tue 24-Sep-13 22:30:37

As YouTheCat says, if you ask for help from other passengers, everyone can be accomodated.

Zara, the trouble is though, the law is not black and white, two bus companies have had the opposite ruling. First post of mine said the law needs to be clarified.

Zara1984 Tue 24-Sep-13 22:34:11

I can totally see where you're coming from Beyond but the law and the bus rules is that the space is a wheelchair space first and foremost, for simplicity. Not a buggy space. A wheelchair space. If you want that space to be designated in a different way to make allowances for a person like yourself with a buggy, then you need to lobby for change.

Yes it sucks for you I agree. But for ease of use by everyone of public transport sometimes quick decisions have to be made. In most circumstances a person with a buggy is ablebodied and able to fold their buggy away.

Zara1984 Tue 24-Sep-13 22:36:25

Totally agree, law needs to be clarified. Possibly difficult given that buses are mostly privatised services these days. But really needs to be clarified for exactly your kind of situation.

The problem is figuring out and enforcing a guideline that accomodates a person like you, whilst telling eejit with giant unfoldable pram they need to make way for wheelchair user with no whingeing please.

Devil is in the detail in this one. Not sure how it can be resolved without larger buggy spaces on buses.

Zara1984 Tue 24-Sep-13 22:36:38

wheelchair/buggy/multiple use spaces

twistyfeet Tue 24-Sep-13 22:40:59

I do understand where you are coming from Beyond as I'm a part time wheelchair user with a disabled daughter in a wheelchair. I think we'd both agree than non disabled parents should fold.
Disabled parents with a buggy, on the off-chance a wheelchair user needs the wheelchair space is trickier. Personally I would ask for help so all could be accomodated and also campaign for buses like others have mentioned with spaces for buggies and wheelchair users.
You'd certainly have priority over non-disabled parents and their buggies but would only get it if you spoke up.
I'm now stuck with the issue that buses have one space so dd and I cannot travel together so I have to hire a Carer for her on one bus while I catch the next one half an hour later. This leads to double the 'face the non moving buggy' issue. Nightmare.

ProudAS Wed 25-Sep-13 06:58:38

Bus companies have legal obligations to make reasonable adjustments for Beyond and Outnumbered. The bus may not have a designated space for disabled parents but pretty sure there's nothing in the equality act legislation about one disability trumping another based on the layout of a vehicle. Its easy to say other passengers could help fold the buggy but what happens at the destination if Beyond or Outnumbered and their DCs are the only ones left on the bus?

Beyond and Outnumbered - have you ever had to ask the driver for help unfolding the buggy at your destination (maybe you live towards the end of the route and other passengers have alighted) and did they help?

Lililly Wed 25-Sep-13 07:55:51

I don't agree that parents should fold just in case the space is required by a wheelchair user. I used busses daily for 10 years with up to 4 small children in tow as my only transport , and not once did this situation occur. If people have to fold when getting on the bus then using the bus for transport becomes unfeasable and people will buy cars instead.
Since accessible busses came in my town , bus use has doubled. This means that there are now many more busses run on the routes and the service is more convenient for all.
When I was a child, walking was more feesable as there were local shops and I went to the local school. Life is no longer like this as most people have cars now. Cars have caused so many problems that there is tremendous effort now to make other forms of transport more attractive than the car.
Probably the best thing you can do to support wheelchair users relying on busses is to leave your car at home and support your local public transport making those routes viable.
If the buggy needs to be folded for a wheelchair user, the bus needs to stop for the time it takes, and seats need to be made available for small children to sit safely. If someone has 2 babies, it may not be safe to travel with them both on a lap, if the next bus is 2 minutes behind, they can get off and wait, if it is an infrequent service it is more difficult, trusting a baby with a stranger on a jolty bus is scary.

YouTheCat Wed 25-Sep-13 08:00:50

What do you think a stranger helping you out by holding your baby will do? Make a run for it? confused

sashh Wed 25-Sep-13 08:10:13

But isn't forcing women off the bus / not allowing them on equally discriminatory?

Although superseded by the equality act the DDA is unique in anti-discrimination law in this country as it does allow discrimination in favour of a disabled person.

So you can allow a disabled person to jump a queue, sit in a preferred sat, allow their assistance dog into a place food is sold etc.

Yes it is discrimination, a blind person can take their guide dog into a restaurant, I can't take my cat. Yes I am discriminated against, but I am a sensible human being. I can see the point.

Lililly Wed 25-Sep-13 08:48:00

No, just that a random stranger might not be used to holding a wriggly baby, and when the bus brakes this could be dangerous.

twistyfeet Wed 25-Sep-13 08:51:31

Women (or men) are being forced off the bus. They can choose to fold the buggy or ask for help in folding it. Then both parties can remain on the bus.
<bangs head on keyboard and wonders when parents became such sissies>

*excludes disabled parents from the sissie comment obviously

twistyfeet Wed 25-Sep-13 08:56:53

Lililly. Wrap the baby in 10 feet of cotton wool. Or do what parents did 10 years ago before there were low floor buses and not assume the world was going to cave in around the precious baby, that asking for help was ok, that other people are perfectly capapble of holding a baby without hurling it to the floor/running off with it.
Most of us with children older than 10 faced this situation daily with several children under 3 and are alive to tell the tale and this is all getting a bit ridiculous. If the wheelchair space is empty then use it and thank disabled people who campaigned for them. If a wheelchair user needs it then ask for help and fold. It shouldnt have had to go to court because entitled precious parents couldnt manage that bit of common sense.
AND start a campaign for buses with buggy and wheelchair spaces. But given most parents are inconvenienced for a few short years, most of them wont bother is my guess.

needaholidaynow Wed 25-Sep-13 08:57:30

As long as impatient people on the bus glaring at pushchair users who are folding their pram whilst juggling a baby and shopping, wait and shove their tuts and whinginess up their arses then that's fine with me smile

Gosh I would have thought that most grown adults could cope with holding a baby for a few minutes. It's hardly a special skill (and those who aren't keen don't offer ime!)

Proud, I've never had to fold on my own, even before I was ill. In my whole life, i've seen maybe two wheelchair users on the bus, both times there was still space for a pushchair on the opposite side. I've only had to fold my pushchair once when all spaces have been full, and that time I was with my DH so he did it.

We do have well laid out buses though.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 25-Sep-13 10:29:55

For those who are saying disabled parents should not be asked to fold their buggy, well if you have an invisible disability, you may very well be asked. If it were me, I would say that I am disabled, so the only way I could fold a buggy is with assistance from other passengers or the driver. If no one else helped me, then I'd feel justified to stay. I can't imagine standing/sitting there and refusing to move without making any effort. confused

bababababoom Wed 25-Sep-13 10:34:24

Completely agree that we should fold for a wheelchair user...but surprised people are happy for a stranger to hold their baby. Not that I think the stranger will do the baby any harm, but the baby is likely to be very frightened at being handed to a stranger.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 25-Sep-13 11:03:07

DD regarded strangers as new friends as soon as she could focus. They might have biscuits!

Lambsie Wed 25-Sep-13 11:04:55

I avoid taking my son who uses a sn buggy on public transport unless I absolutely have to.
The last time I went on a bus we were first in the queue having chosen not to get on the previous bus because there were already buggies in the wheelchair space. Someone running from the other direction jumped on the bus in front of us and put his ordinary buggy in the space. When I asked him to move it/fold it he said I should turn my son's buggy sideways so it would fit in. This meant my son's buggy was sticking out and I had to hold his legs down every time someone walked past to stop him kicking them. He took his child out of the buggy and sat down with him in the accessible seats. The driver said nothing.

The last time I went on a train, there were buggies in the wheelchair space so I had to stand with my son in his buggy in the doorway. The doorway had several other people in it who had chosen to stand rather than sit down so it was quite crowded. My son shouted and kicked the whole journey with people staring down the carriage at him.

edam Wed 25-Sep-13 11:05:27

I don't think most babies would be frightened especially if they see their mother is confident.

BarbarianMum Wed 25-Sep-13 11:13:57

<<the baby is likely to be very frightened at being handed to a stranger.>>

More would be upset rather than "very frightened" . And many completely unbothered. But even being "very frightened" for the minute it takes to fold a buggy (with your mum/dad in full view) won't be very damaging, I think.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 25-Sep-13 11:18:17

I've held lots of babies that do not know me. I used to work at a nursery and was often handed babies when mums or dads were sorting something else out. The odd baby cried but it was only for a minute or two. It's not the end of the world for a baby to whinge for a minute or so.

SilverApples Wed 25-Sep-13 11:20:10

' but the baby is likely to be very frightened at being handed to a stranger.'

Mine were socialised like puppies from birth.

SilverApples Wed 25-Sep-13 11:21:45

'DD regarded strangers as new friends as soon as she could focus. They might have biscuits!'

grin Or shiny things to look at and grab.
Seriously, you are talking about a minute, not the entire journey.

jacks365 Wed 25-Sep-13 11:55:25

A woman had to fold her pram recently on a bus I was on and gave me her son to hold. He was fine but mine got a bit jealous. Only took about 30 seconds to fold then he was back with mum again.

YouTheCat Wed 25-Sep-13 12:26:51

I had a good look at the sign on the wheelchair space today. On stagecoach buses it states that buggies can use the space but must move if it is needed by a wheelchair user as it is the law .

It also has great big letters which say 'WHEELCHAIR SPACE'.

Right at the bottom it finishes with 'Thank you for considering others'.

PatPig Wed 25-Sep-13 13:35:03

"I had a good look at the sign on the wheelchair space today. On stagecoach buses it states that buggies can use the space but must move if it is needed by a wheelchair user as it is the law ."

It isn't the law.

There is no 'wheelchair space' in law.

The law requires public transport operators to make their buses accessible to disabled people (who needn't be any wheelchairs). The law places an obligation on the operator. It doesn't place any obligation on the general public.

Consideration is another matter, but it's not law.

BarbarianMum Wed 25-Sep-13 13:45:35

It would come under 'Terms of Carriage' wouldn't it PatPig?

When you buy a ticket you are forming a contract with the bus company who provides you with transport to X in exchange for an amount of money plus some conditions regarding your behaviour (no eating etc).

If you break your side of the contract, by not obeying the Terms of Carriage (in this case by refusing to move your buggy) then they can and should ask you to leave the vehicle.

Frankly I have no time for this sort of selfishness. If you don't like the deal then get out and walk and be damned thankful you can.

YouTheCat Wed 25-Sep-13 13:46:09

There is a law. It is contained within some amendments to the Equality Act 2010 but I can't find a page to link that is not in 'legal speak'.

IcaMorgan Wed 25-Sep-13 14:08:41

Well it happened again today.

Was sitting at the bus stop and my bus came along, I put my arm out so he knew to put the ramp down and he pulled up right beside me, let people off and as there were 2 buggies on already he didn't bother to ask them to fold he just drove off without saying a word to me.

I was so fed up with this happening I called TFL and put in a complaint about it and am supposed to have a written response within 10 days telling what has been done about it.

Luckily it was only 4 minutes before another one turned up, there was a buggy on already but the driver got her to fold it which she did no problem (although she held the folded buggy in the way for me to try and get into the space).

ProudAS Wed 25-Sep-13 14:10:18

Well said PatPig

Barbarian - conditions of carriage, notices on bus etc do not supercede the equality act and failure to make reasonable adjustments for any disabled person is illegal.

YouTheCat Wed 25-Sep-13 14:11:09

Ica that is just terrible.

Sirzy Wed 25-Sep-13 14:11:28

Awful behaviour from the driver Ica sad must be so frustating having that worry every time you want to go out.

I can't believe the bus driver didn't even have the manners to apologise to you, let alone do the right thing by making them move.

ProudAS Wed 25-Sep-13 14:15:41

*Although superseded by the equality act the DDA is unique in anti-discrimination law in this country as it does allow discrimination in favour of a disabled person.

So you can allow a disabled person to jump a queue, sit in a preferred sat, allow their assistance dog into a place food is sold etc.

Yes it is discrimination, a blind person can take their guide dog into a restaurant, I can't take my cat. Yes I am discriminated against, but I am a sensible human being. I can see the point.

Whilst treating a disabled person more favourably may be legal in some circumstances I would not describe the situations sassh describes as discrimination.

If queueing, having to sit elsewhere, not being able to take dog into restaurant etc will place a disabled person at substantial disadvantage then it is only right that allowances are made.

BarbarianMum Wed 25-Sep-13 14:28:22

Of course, ProudAS

What I was trying to get at is that individuals do (legally) have to respect the right of wheelchair users to access these 'Wheelchair Spaces'. It is not enough for the bus company to supply them then not make them be accessible by moving other travelers, if necessary.

A lot of people upthread have said that if individuals refuse to move the driver can't make them. I'm disagreeing with that.

Weller Wed 25-Sep-13 15:00:38

It is the need of the disabled person which needs to be met, the individual person. Wheel chair space are installed for wheel chair use as priority. In the same way as blue badge, being disabled does not entitle you to one but your needs do. It is not one disabled person trumping another it is meeting the needs of individuals. A disabled person who could not fold or carry a baby safely should really inform the driver so the driver knows the circumstances before a wheelchair user tries to board. When in the states they gave me a large sticker for a major Maclaren with a wheel chair picture on it I could see this as a way forward. As this and other threads prove people will abuse for their own benefit.

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