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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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

CommanderShepard Tue 24-Sep-13 11:51:43

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.

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Tue 24-Sep-13 11:59:58

<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.

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Tue 24-Sep-13 12:40:50

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.

WhereDoAllTheCalculatorsGo Tue 24-Sep-13 13:07:28

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.

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Tue 24-Sep-13 14:21:31

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.

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Tue 24-Sep-13 14:23:01

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.

neversleepagain Tue 24-Sep-13 14:25:31

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?)

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Tue 24-Sep-13 14:25:37

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.

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Tue 24-Sep-13 14:39:41

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?

Binkyridesagain Tue 24-Sep-13 14:44:36

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

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Tue 24-Sep-13 14:45:07

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.

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