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To be a bit shocked by this court ruling?

(138 Posts)
Wowthishurtsalot Mon 08-Dec-14 15:04:12

Just read in the daily fail that a court has ruled bus companies have no right to make pushchair users move from the wheelchair spaces on buses

Can anyone find this in a better source?

MaidOfStars Mon 08-Dec-14 15:05:48

BBC and Guardian reporting it too.

Fallingovercliffs Mon 08-Dec-14 15:07:38

YANBU. That is really awful. So a person in a wheelchair has to wait in the cold because some selfish parent won't fold the pushchair?

Samcro Mon 08-Dec-14 15:07:43

there is a thread in the news topic

Wowthishurtsalot Mon 08-Dec-14 15:08:35

Thanks I'll link from the beeb

[Wrong link, MNHQ have removed]

MaidOfStars Mon 08-Dec-14 15:12:25

My reading of the story is that the court didn't see a legal obligation on the part of the bus company to force the woman to move. I think that is different to saying that the bus company can legitimately discriminate or similar. There was a comment by a judge (involved in the hearing? not sure...) that to get legal rights in place, the matter needs to go before parliament.

StrangeGlue Mon 08-Dec-14 15:13:10

The buggy user should always move but if they won't it seems harsh to blame the bus company for that persons complete lack of humanity. A bus driver can't force so someone off the bus if they've said they won't move.

To reemphasise the person who says they won't move is a dickhead of the worst kind and should always always move! I'm just not sure what a bus driver can do when up against someone that horrid. Isn't that what the appeal has said?

Fallingovercliffs Mon 08-Dec-14 15:16:41

Some people can be incredibly thick and self absorbed. You only have to read p&t parking threads to realise the worrying number of parents who think those spaces are as important as Blue Badge spaces. But I can see the judge's point about it being unfair on bus drivers to expect them to get involved in these situations, as parents who behave like this are never going to be reasonable people.
It's really sad that the matter has to be even discussed or taken to court in the first place. sad

Mammanat222 Mon 08-Dec-14 15:17:10

Stupid ruling, I mean all buses state that wheelchair users have precedence over prams, why can the law not enforce it.

I still cannot believe that the cheeky fucker got away with refusing to leave the bus - "rewarding" such entitled behaviour is madness

I say this as a pram user than has once had to get off a bus - pre contactless payment days - and walk home as there were no shops open to top up my Oyster card on a Sunday evening

misskelly Mon 08-Dec-14 15:27:17

I'm surprised at this ruling too, but had some concerns about it.

When my daughter was younger she intermittently used a wheelchair and found using buses to be a nightmare. But, before she used a wheelchair we had to use a major maclaren buggy, not many people realize what these buggies are and that they are for children with sn.

I wondered if users of this type of buggy may have faced problems, we had plenty of people asking why I had such a large child in a buggy and where we got our huge buggy from because most people don't know about this kind of buggy.

SauvignonBlanche Mon 08-Dec-14 15:32:20

There's a thread about this already.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 08-Dec-14 15:32:54

Round here the buses have two sets of seats, one is a wheelchairs space, and one is a pushchair space big enough for two pushchairs. The signs specifically say that one is a wheelchair space, and one is for buggies or people with heavy shopping.

I do think that wheelchair users should take priority, as of course they physically can't walk, and buses are usually full of pushchairs so they can't just wait for the next one.

But travelling can also be difficult for parents, especially a new mum with a pram that can't be folded with one hand, she couldn't hold the baby, the shopping and fold the pram. It's easy to say she should have bought a different pram, but most prams for newborns are clunky and difficult. Easy to say get someone to hold the baby, but what you're often faced with is a bus full of people tutting at you for holding the bus up. Drivers are often really unhelpful too.

I think that the answer would be a system similar to round here, where there is space for both. It's ok when you've a toddler and a stroller, but those early months can be a nightmare.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 08-Dec-14 15:37:00

Round here they don't actually say that wheelchair users take priority, well there are two sides at the front with fold down seats, one is for a wheelchair space, and the other says it's for parents with pushchairs or people with heavy shopping.

crazyspaniel Mon 08-Dec-14 15:38:02

Link to the existing thread:
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/in_the_news/2254397-Bus-companies-are-not-required-by-law-to-force-parents-with-buggies-to-make-way-for-wheelchair-users

DoJo Mon 08-Dec-14 15:44:22

Er, OP - that link is to someone's LinkedIn profile! Might be best to ask for it to be altered, assuming that the poor person has nothing to do with this story!

Bulbasaur Mon 08-Dec-14 15:46:57

It's like that here in the US. Part of this is because the buggy users can also be disabled. You can't always tell a disabled person by looking at them, so giving the bus driver the legal authority to make a person who "looks" able bodied move or stand is unethical.

Although, to be honest, I've never seen a parent refuse to move out of the way for a wheel chair user. Most fold their strollers and put their kids on their laps.

mangoespadrille Mon 08-Dec-14 15:48:12

It's things like this that make you think that we genuinely need a law that simply states "Don't be a selfish twat."

DoraGora Mon 08-Dec-14 16:07:50

I guess the bus driver could just pull over and ask everybody to get off.

TrendStopper Mon 08-Dec-14 16:09:38

I think if you get on a bus with a pram and a person in a wheelchair comes on you should get a ticket allowing you to get on the next bus for free because you will have already paid for the full journey that you wanted to make.

BeyondTheTreelights Mon 08-Dec-14 16:11:11

Honestly, i'll be keeping my camera with me from now on. Trial by media for the selfish cunts.

And i might even do the mumsnet thing of calling 101 wink see if i can press charges against the individual for a hate crime. Overkill maybe...?

PortofinoVino Mon 08-Dec-14 16:18:54

I do not, however, believe that the fact that some passengers will - albeit rarely - act selfishly and irresponsibly is a sufficient reason for imposing on bus companies a legal responsibility for a situation which is not of their making and which they are not in a position to prevent. said the Judge.

Sorry, a sleeping baby does NOT trump someone in a wheelchair.

grovel Mon 08-Dec-14 16:23:12

I think the judges (there were 3) are getting some unfair stick on here. This was an appeal by the bus company against an earlier Court ruling that it should pay £5,500 in compensation to the man in the wheelchair. These judges (in the Court of Appeal) felt that the first judge had misapplied the Equality Act 2010 and that the Act does not have provisions to force bus companies to have a policy to compel passengers to make space available. So... the bus company had not acted unlawfully. This was a point of law.

We don't want judges making up the law. We want Parliament doing that and the judges suggested that campaigners might want to get the law changed.

tiggytape Mon 08-Dec-14 16:30:44

Although, to be honest, I've never seen a parent refuse to move out of the way for a wheel chair user. Most fold their strollers and put their kids on their laps.

That's the problem though - they do refuse to move or collapse the pram. This case was bought by someone who experienced this and had to wait for the next bus. There's nothing to say the next bus wouldn't also have pram users in the space, or the one after that or the one after that.
If you are a disabled person who needs to get to work or college or school, you cannot accept just waiting for bus after bus in the cold and the rain until one of them is able to take you.

Yes travelling with babies on a bus is hard. I live in London and used buses for years with a baby then with a 2 year old and a baby. In those days there was no wheelchair space, everyone had to collapse their buggies and put them in the luggage compartment (a railed off area next to the driver or under the stairs). It was tricky but possible with forward planning (compact buggy, a sling for the baby to travel in and a rucksack for any shopping). Even in London people generally help a bit too.

Travelling with babies is hard but not totally impossible for most people. A wheelchair user however cannot choose to travel without using the wheelchair space no matter how much forward planning they do or what type of chair they buy therefore their needs should be priority.

FyreFly Mon 08-Dec-14 16:45:59

I wondered if this would be the outcome, as technically, legally etc the bus company is in the right. They're a private company and not a govt body / council. I suppose it's the same sort of thing whereby the blue badge scheme doesn't apply in private carparks (i.e. supermarkets), only on public roads or in public (council etc) carparks.

Unfortunately you can't legislate for basic human decency and co-operation.

MaidOfStars Mon 08-Dec-14 16:50:30

Sorry, a sleeping baby does NOT trump someone in a wheelchair
I get the impression that this is (almost) universally agreed, even by the judges presiding over this case (one of whom alluded to the type of behaviour shown by this mother as selfish and irresponsible). The point of this case was to determine whether the bus company/driver had acted illegally.

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