Another buggy in wheelchair space thread

(1000 Posts)
MsAR Sat 04-Jun-16 21:09:37

I got on the bus at the same time as a wheelchair user was queuing to do so. The driver told the wheelchair user there wasn't room, so I quickly checked and saw it was a buggy and a shopping trolley in the space.

The driver told the wheelchair user there would be another bus in a few minutes and they didn't seem to mind and weren't particularly insistent about getting on.

Was I being unreasonable to step in at this point and tell the driver that the person with the buggy should get off as wheelchairs have priority? He was pretty annoyed when I did, and kept repeating that there wasn't space.

I'm in London, and there are clear signs on every bus stating this is the case. I've often had to get off a bus when a wheelchair needed to get on and would never question if asked to do so.

Would it also be unreasonable for me to complain to TFL? I know I'm being a busy body but the driver's attitude really irritated me! I'd like the mumsnet jury to help me decide what to do, if anything.

joangray38 Sat 04-Jun-16 21:12:00

Sadly there was a court case where the judge stated wheelchair users shouldn't take precedence maybe he forgot pushchairs collapse . Yes you were fab to intervene and maybe should complain but I don't think you will get very far.

Nanasueathome Sat 04-Jun-16 21:12:07

I appreciate there are spaces for wheelchairs and they take priority but is it right to ask someone, already on the bus and who has already paid their fare, to get off so that a wheelchair user can get on?

andadietcoke Sat 04-Jun-16 21:12:50

Whenever I use London buses I fold the buggy when we're getting on (double baby jogger city mini so folds really easily) so we don't take up a wheelchair space - I'm well aware of this rule.

Gileswithachainsaw Sat 04-Jun-16 21:13:32

Well the buggy should have collapsed.

and I'd have offered to lift the trolly into the luggage space.

no one needed to get off the bus

Akire Sat 04-Jun-16 21:16:10

The buggy should be folded so room for both. Years ago before ramps (that disabled people fought for) you had to fold a pushchair everyone did it. These days because there is ramp and space people use massive ones.

Had people "fold" their large buggies if asked ie collapsed it so still takes up exactly the same floor space. I would never expect passenger to get off just buy a pushchair that can be used on a bus.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Sat 04-Jun-16 21:17:06

No-one should be forced to get off as they have already paid. If you wanted brownie points you should have offered to help fold the buggy and move the shopping trolley.

MsAR Sat 04-Jun-16 21:17:19

I think it is. I bet the woman would have moved if the driver had asked. Even in the capital city, it is so, so difficult to use public transport if you're in a wheelchair. Drivers here are generally very good and there are notices on buses saying wheelchairs take priority and buggies should be collapsed. I'm surprised he didn't even ask the woman with the buggy but can see why he was annoyed when I photographed his number plate! blush

Bearpeep Sat 04-Jun-16 21:17:59

is it right to ask someone, already on the bus and who has already paid their fare, to get off so that a wheelchair user can get on?

They don't have to get off, they can fold the pushchair.

We went out last weekend and took the bus. When we got on there was a wheelchair user already on board so we folded, I let DH deal with the buggy because I have funny joints and they were playing up. On the way home the littlest was asleep, a wheelchair user was waiting at the next stop and DH said he'd need a couple of minutes - he'd need to wake DS, hand him off to me, get the shopping bags off and fold the buggy. He got as far as saying "the baby is asleep, I need a minute..." and the driver had told the people waiting that the baby is asleep, he doesn't need to fold it, then shut the doors and drove off. An inspector was on the bus and he agreed with the driver.

KP86 Sat 04-Jun-16 21:19:13

Genuine question, why does a wheelchair have priority? Say you are a parent with two young children in a tandem pram with bags etc. How would collapsing the pram take any less space when you then have to juggle kids and bags, as well as dealing with the collapsed pram which may not end up being that small and still taking up wheelchair space?

I don't see how a wheelchair user is any less capable of travelling under their own steam compared to a parent pushing a pram. Both are self powered.

Not trying to be goady, I am genuinely curious. I guess you could say that a parent could sit in one of the other seats with their kids and associated crap, but what if the bus is full?

KP86 Sat 04-Jun-16 21:20:46

Plus the sleeping baby scenario above.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Sat 04-Jun-16 21:20:47

they didn't seem to mind. really, that was your clue to mind your own business. It's all very well 'sticking up for others' but the wheelchair user was presumably an adult and you've just treat them like a child, or worse like an incompetent adult. I'd have been mortified to be the focus of so much fuss when I'd said it was ok.

MouldyPeach Sat 04-Jun-16 21:20:56

The driver knew there would be another bus coming along shortly and didn't want the fuss. By time the buggy& trolley had come off and the chair user on the next bus would probably be there. YAB a bit U telling the bus driver how to do his job, especially as he and the wheel chair user seemed happy enough with the situation.

Bearpeep Sat 04-Jun-16 21:21:14

why does a wheelchair have priority?

I don't see how a wheelchair user is any less capable of travelling under their own steam compared to a parent pushing a pram

You have the option to pick up your baby, fold the buggy and sit elsewhere.

A person in a wheelchair cannot just get out, fold it up and sit elsewhere.

Bearpeep Sat 04-Jun-16 21:22:18

Plus the sleeping baby scenario above.

Even with a sleeping baby, DH was prepared to fold it up because we have a choice and a wheelchair user does not.

Akire Sat 04-Jun-16 21:22:25

Twins or multi kids is very different to having toddler and small pushchair. Takes 20sec to lift child out sit on lap on prority seat and gold pushchair next to you. Still leaving room for another passenger next to you.

Trust be if you live up a hill or need to go any distended a wheelchair user is certainly not as capable as someone walking. It's not easy pushing yourself.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Sat 04-Jun-16 21:22:45

You're quite new then Kp 😖😁

Gileswithachainsaw Sat 04-Jun-16 21:23:27

And if there was a buggy taht refused to collapse on the next one?

whether or not the wheel chair user can wait or doesn't mind is irrelevant..

where possible amd I repeat where possible, people who use public transport should buy their buggies accordingly.
you never know when you may need to collapse not and ideally that should be kept in mind when purchasing a buggy.

Bearpeep Sat 04-Jun-16 21:23:30

It's not easy to push someone in a manual/non-automatic wheelchair either, they're a heck of a lot heavier than they look.

WriteforFun1 Sat 04-Jun-16 21:24:49

Please write to tfl
I think that court judgement was going to appeal but meanwhile I think it's important we let tfl know what we think about this
A wheelchair must take priority. Before anyone says it, I mean in a case where the parent does not have a disability and can fold the buggy.

Pooka Sat 04-Jun-16 21:25:17

The wheelchair user has priority because the space has been designated for their use. Lots of parents with pushchairs benefit from the ability to use this space when it is not needed by the priority user for whom the space has been allocated (the wheelchair user) but as soon as it is needed for the purpose it was installed, they need to move or get off the bus.

I have had a double pram. I've never needed to propel myself in a wheelchair. I'm pretty certain that it would be easier for me to push two children in a pram than push myself along in a wheelchair.

It's a moot point really - bottom line is that disability campaigners are why the spaces are there. Parents benefit a lot of the time, piggybacking that campaign and the outcome, but need to be aware that they don't have priority over wheelchair users.

Gileswithachainsaw Sat 04-Jun-16 21:25:19

Even when no wheel chairs are getting on, at bust times here may not be space available. we've half blocking the walkway is a h&s issue.

don't buy a tank.

Akire Sat 04-Jun-16 21:26:23

Plus the reason I gave up trying get on London buses is there is always 2 pushchairs in the day time. No chance. And you may be pushing a small child around for 2-3years then you don't have to do it again hassle over. Wheelchair user on other hand might have whole life waiting for a bus with no pyshchair in. The impact for always waiting "for the next bus" certain Impacts more

KP86 Sat 04-Jun-16 21:27:13

I'm not begrudging a wheelchair being on the bus at all, or people making adjustments if they can, but I don't see why they shouldn't wait in line like everyone else if not. I've had busses go straight past me when they didn't have room for the pram. Who's to say that I didn't have a 'greater need' for that space and the driver shouldn't have made others get off for me? (And I don't think they should have, but it's the scenario you're painting.) First in, best dressed.

In fact, I think the way it happened in OP's situation was most reasonable by the driver and wheelchair user.

mashpot Sat 04-Jun-16 21:28:06

I've got off London buses before to make space for a wheelchair (too much faff to get DD out along with all the crap in the basket and mind DS). I figure life is hard enough when you're in a wheelchair, making space for a user on the bus is the least I could do.

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