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to think that wheelchairs should be priority on buses?

(621 Posts)
mamadivazback Tue 02-Aug-11 21:05:07

My DS and I were on the bus today coming home from the town when I noticed a woman I vaguely know to speak to in the queue behind about 8 people with her 6YO DD who is in a narrow childs wheelchair and her DP with 2 year old son in small stroller so we waved, as you do.

Now the bus was about half full and 2 girls got on with their children in pushchairs, one with a very large Emmaljunga type and the other with a stroller and both children were happily sitting up by themselves and looked to be about 18 months old but neither thought to fold their pushchair when the lady tried to get her DD on, she had taken her DS out so she could fold pushchair and all sit together but the bus driver told her she could not get on as there were already 2 pushchairs onboard so she had to wait behind in the rain for the next bus.

I know pushchairs are entitled to use the bus but I thought you had to fold them if a wheelchair user was getting on and was quite shocked when the bus driver refused her a ticket, I spoke to her later on and she said it has happened a few times and it's just bad luck but I really don't think it's fair.

GlitterySkulls Tue 02-Aug-11 21:09:08

this really pee's me off, i either fold or get off, wheelchair user comes before pram imo.

RabidRabbit Tue 02-Aug-11 21:09:12

It isn't fair, and on most if not all buses there is a sign in the wheelchair/buggy bay that states "wheelchair users have priority access".

iskra Tue 02-Aug-11 21:13:00

Absolutely not fair, & the bus driver was at fault for not insisting the buggies were folded. Buses here have a sign saying that wheelchair users have priority.

QueenOfFeckingEverything Tue 02-Aug-11 21:13:46

shock

she should complain, quote the dda

wheelchairs take priority over buggies

Mitmoo Tue 02-Aug-11 21:15:13

Wheelchairs before buggies.

pinguwings Tue 02-Aug-11 21:16:11

It's not fair but it does happen a lot. Bus drivers should insist that the buggies were folded. Unfortunately a lot can't be bothered.

mamadivazback Tue 02-Aug-11 21:16:22

Our buses have a sign that states something along the lines of

"pushchairs may use this space if there are no wheelchair users onboard but must be folded if this space is needed"

thinking back on it I wsh I would have said something but if the mum sees this as normal then she would probably have been mortified and her DD is quite shy about things as it is...

MogTheForgetfulCat Tue 02-Aug-11 21:18:20

YANBU - am a bit shock that the other mums didn't think to fold their pushchairs when they saw what was happening.

ChristinedePizan Tue 02-Aug-11 21:18:29

I realised that a lot of people don't actually realise that children's wheelchairs are wheelchairs when I went on a castle tour with a friend with her DD in a wheelchair and she was told that pushchairs weren't allowed.

It really isn't fair

Sirzy Tue 02-Aug-11 21:19:36

YANBU. The mothers who let that happen where being unreasonable as was the bus driver. They shouldnt have needed telling to put there prams down they should have done it straight away.

5inthebed Tue 02-Aug-11 21:20:57

Your friend should have asked the people at the front if she could get on first as she had a wheelchair. Shocking.

I was heavily pregnant and forced to get off a bus as I wouldn;t fold my pram down for another pram. My pram in question though was a Maclaren Major which I use to safely take my DS2 around who has ASD. Bus driver thought the baby in the pram should have priority.

rhetorician Tue 02-Aug-11 21:21:09

wheelchairs definitely have priority, morally as well as legally. It's just a pain to fold up a pushchair and heave toddler/baby/shopping to seat, but an impossibility for a wheelchair user. Do these people really have so little imagination/empathy?

SheCutOffTheirTails Tue 02-Aug-11 21:22:24

They are priority on buses

Christine could be right - perhaps these women didn't realise the little girl was in a wheelchair.

But WTF was the bus driver up to?

CMOTdibbler Tue 02-Aug-11 21:22:43

Absolutely - a wheelchair user should always take priority

mamadivazback Tue 02-Aug-11 21:24:15

Mog I was baffled too they just kind of looked at each other and one said 'I hope I don't need to sit X on my knee and fold that' and seemed relieved, as I say I don't know the mum well enough to know how she would've reacted to me saying something but I was more shocked by the drivers response!

Christene her DD is the only child I know who uses a wheelchair but this one was just a narrow version of a bog standard wheelchair so I am surprised that people may not ahve known, it never even occurred to me.

Kayzr Tue 02-Aug-11 21:24:28

They have priority here. I've been asked a few times to fold up the pushchair by the bus driver but I'm usually in the process of doing it when I see the wheelchair waiting.

As far as I am concerned I will use the space but as soon as there is a person in a wheelchair getting on I will fold up the pushchair and I think everyone should do that.

Whatmeworry Tue 02-Aug-11 21:25:36

But WTF was the bus driver up to?

Driving the bus and watching for traffic I hope.

Its the passengers job to sort their seating out arrangements. No complaints, no problems.

mamadivazback Tue 02-Aug-11 21:27:43

I shall tell her to complain and I will also be complaining tomorrow as I was'nt sure how it worked if the spaces were full but common sense told me that wheelchairs should get on first but heyho common sense does'nt always come first.

lenak Tue 02-Aug-11 21:29:30

Wheelchairs should definitely get priority, but agree that the driver may not have realised that it was a wheelchair rather than a pushchair.

I think as well as children's wheelchairs looking a bit like pushchairs, I don't think people always register disabled children because it isn't nice to think that some kids need them.

That isn't explained very well - but hopefully you know what I mean!

mamadivazback Tue 02-Aug-11 21:30:08

Whatmeworry - sorry I should've said the stop is in a bus station away from the roads and the bus stops there for 10 minutes so there was no traffic to watch although I do agree that the passengers should've sorted it out but I think next time I will encourage her to speak up and I will do the same.

TakeMeDrunkImHome Tue 02-Aug-11 21:33:11

Wheelchairs take priority. If the selfish lazy people with the buggies didn't make attempts to fold up their prams when they saw the chair then it was IMO up to the driver to point out the little sign that is on ALL buses I have been on in millions of areas in UK and stress that the wheelchair user had priority.

Of course it is a hassle to fold up and manage a LO on your lap with shopping/bags/other kids but the person in the chair has no option.

This riles me a lot as it happens to my sister and her 17 yo disabled daughter a lot.

elliejjtiny Tue 02-Aug-11 21:35:39

this happened to me all the time when my ds2 had his special needs buggy. It did fold but took up almost the same amount of space and practically needed an engineering degree to be able to put it back together. Often not getting on the bus meant leaving my 4 year old stranded at school. In the end I took it back to wheelchair services and said I couldn't use it and I put DS2 back in his normal buggy. He slumped terribly in it but at least I could get it on the bus.

Maryz Tue 02-Aug-11 21:37:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SiamoFottuti Tue 02-Aug-11 21:38:10

Driver probably didn't notice it was a chair and not a buggy, hard to tell the difference at a quick glance when you are busy. Someone else should have piped up if they knew, I would have if I was on the bus.

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