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Wheelchair on bus - how can I help?

(32 Posts)
TheTartOfAsgard Mon 06-Mar-17 13:30:06

I've seen a few posts re wheelchairs on busses (and commented on some) and hope someone can give me some suggestion on what I can do.

I live in a small village. Busses once every hour and 15 minutes. No train station. There's one bus at 7:20 that gets into the city for 8:30 so is always packed to the rafters with people going to work university and school, and I mean packed - people standing all the way up to the door. Next bus doesn't come until 8:35 and gets into the city at 9:50.
Everyone gets on the bus at the first stop in the town centre. No one gets on at the second stop. At the 3rd stop around 3 times a week is a lady in a wheelchair. On school holidays and the very odd occasion there is space the driver stops and lets her on, but most of the time just drives past. When I asked one of them why they did this he said that he can't force people to get off and he doubts anyone would because of getting to work/school on time, and also that the lady only gets on for 3 stops and then gets off.
It's a single decker bus due to a low bridge that it has to go under about half way to the city.

I feel really bad for the lady, you can see her face as the bus goes past, but I also struggle knowing that if I was to offer to get off the bus to make room (would need at least 5 of us to do this) I would be over an hour late for work multiple times a week and would most certainly get the sack.

I was thinking of emailing the bus company to either make them aware of what's going on or making some suggestions about what they could do, but I can't think of any suggestions.

Does anyone have any ideas?

5foot5 Mon 06-Mar-17 13:37:01

The only suggestion I can think of is that they should improve the service and put on an additional bus if there is that much demand. Can you count how many are standing. I think I read somewhere once that there should only be 28 people standing on a single decker bus so if they are already exceeding that there is a case for putting on an additional bus which might help somewhat.

19lottie82 Mon 06-Mar-17 13:58:14

OK being objective here, if the lady wasn't in a wheelchair then the bus wouldn't stop anyway, right, as it is too full?

Not that it makes things any better for her but maybe it should stop you feeling as bad.

As already advised perhaps you should contact the bus service provider and suggest they need to put on an extra bus during peak times. If it's as packed as you say 1 bus in 75 mins is ridiculous!

TaliDiNozzo Mon 06-Mar-17 14:02:19

This used to happen on my uni bus. I live at home for some of it and got the bus which went through numerous villages. It was always packed by the time it got to the last village and there was a family who would sometimes be waiting, one member of which used a wheelchair. Sometimes the bus would drive straight past because there was no room whatsoever for anyone else to get on. Last village begins with E and destination town is an H, in case that is where you're referring to.

Sonders Mon 06-Mar-17 14:06:32

I would email the bus company and if you're not satisfied with the response, try your MP. This topic is still hot in the press so probably the best chance anyone will have to get a result.

AshesandDust Mon 06-Mar-17 14:08:18

With a bit of physical help she maybe able to take a seat on the bus and the wheelchair could be folded.
How you ask her if she's like some help to do this is another obstacle.

sabzii Mon 06-Mar-17 14:13:18

I tonight the wheelchair space had to be kept free/vacated by law? Or is that just if blocked by buggies/luggage not standing passengers?

It's a tricky one, ideally people should make space but everyone is anxious to get to school/work. If the bus is full there's no point the driver stopping.

sabzii Mon 06-Mar-17 14:15:41

*thought not tonight blush

olderthanyouthink Mon 06-Mar-17 14:21:55

When I started secondary school the buses to school was a single decker (no practical reason for it) and loads of us would not be allowed to get on owing to it being to busy. Our parents and the school complained and the bus company started putting on double deckers.

I think if you get the other passengers (and parents/school) on board, you could all complain to have an extra bus or two put on for the commute.

ZackyVengeance Mon 06-Mar-17 14:25:24

complain to the bus company.
if there is a wheelchair space then the bus company should be making people move. even if that means they have to get off.
gosh how awful to be discriminated against like this.

MrsJayy Mon 06-Mar-17 14:26:56

I really think contacting the bus company is a great idea obviously the need a more regular bus service and the driver needs some training the wheelchair space should not be blocked by people or prams the bus is obviously overloaded

ShuttyTown Mon 06-Mar-17 14:27:51

No doubt I'll get flamed for this but if the lady is only going 3 stops, and she herself knows that the bus won't always stop as it's full (because it's full, not because she's in a wheelchair) then she is perfectly able to arrange different transport to her destination I.e. a taxi?

She is obviously aware that the bus doesn't always stop for her or anyone else at that same bus stop so they all have to make the decision to take that risk. Do you have the same concern for the able bodied people at the stop OP?

MrsJayy Mon 06-Mar-17 14:30:07

Why do you think you would get flamed?

ZackyVengeance Mon 06-Mar-17 14:30:32

shutty, maybe she can't afford a taxi, disabled people are not all well off.

ShuttyTown Mon 06-Mar-17 14:33:17

Because @mrsJayy in the past on these sorts of threads I've made similar comments that haven't necessarily been 100% supportive of the disabled person for various reasons (nothing at all to do with their disability) and I've been flamed and had my comments deleted by MN as they were reported! It seems on MN you have to agree with anything and everything that's in favour of a disabled person or you're the devil incarnate. And I speak as someone who has a severely disabled sister hmm

witwootoodleoo Mon 06-Mar-17 14:33:29

shuttytown it's not always that easy to get a taxi as a wheelchair user. The local taxi companies may not have a wheelchair accessible vehicle. She also might not have the money for taxis.

OP I would contact the bus company and also the MP. Good suggestion from PP to see if the bus is exceeding the maximum number of standing passengers and use this as evidence that there is obviously a need for an additional bus.

ShuttyTown Mon 06-Mar-17 14:34:40

Maybe she can't @zacky, maybe the other people at her bus stop can't either. Then like I said, they know the risk the bus won't stop but choose to wait for it anyway. It's their choice. Disabled or not

JennyOnAPlate Mon 06-Mar-17 14:34:45

The bus company should be making people move? Really??? I really don't think it's fair to make 4 or 5 people be an hour late for work to let one wheelchair user on the bus!

I wonder if the bus company are aware how busy this bus gets op? The obvious solution is for them to add an extra bus to the service.

MrsJayy Mon 06-Mar-17 14:35:42

Quite right too shutty your attitude and comments stink but it is nice you are honest enough to come out with these comments no sugar coating your opinions .

BBCNewsRave Mon 06-Mar-17 14:36:18

MrsJayy Because posters will argue that the wheelchair space should be vacated for her (this is the law too!), and that there is no law that able bodied people should be picked up. Or something.

I feel sorry for the lady in question but also poor (financially) commuters if they get chucked off and late for work... my answer would be to nationalise public transport and supply it according to need though! But I think the bus company could maybe be prodded to provide another service at that time, if it's routinely that packed.

ZackyVengeance Mon 06-Mar-17 14:36:55

i said if there is a wheelchair space. then people should be made to move.
if there isn't that is different.

MrsJayy Mon 06-Mar-17 14:37:21

If the wheelchair space is full the bus is to full

ShuttyTown Mon 06-Mar-17 14:40:01

Yep here we go again 🙄

I'm not quite sure why my 'attitude stinks' the lady and EVERYONE who waits at that bus stop knows the bus might not be able to stop for them, but choose to wait anyway. I suggested that they could arrange alternative transport OR they can choose to wait for the next bus OR they can contact the bus company. In order for my 'attitude' not to stink should i have suggested that 5 people or more get off the bus and be extremely late for work, so that the lady at the next stop can get on?!? The lady who chooses to wait and see if the bus will stop or not. DUE TO IT BEING FULL. NOT due to anyone discriminating against her.

See what I mean about you have to be 100%?

SomethingBorrowed Mon 06-Mar-17 15:11:17

Interesting question... will follow the answers as I am not sure what mine is.

My initial reaction would be that if the bus is full it isn't discrimination not to stop at the bus stop. In other words, other passengers waiting at this stop don't have a chance to board the bus either, so the fact that the lady couldn't isn't based on her disability at all.

But again, curious to see how it goes.

TheTartOfAsgard Mon 06-Mar-17 16:19:12

Sorry was at Drs. She's the only one at the bus stop - everyone else, including me (I live near the 2nd stop) walks to the town to get on at the first stop to be able to get on, a luxury she doesn't have which is why I feel bad.
The service is actually being cut in my area - there used to be two busses that went different routes from the first stop, but still ended up in the city before 9, but since late last year they've stopped it. During the daytime no one really uses the bus, it's just the commuters on the morning/evening.
Taxis here are only pre-bookable, sometimes days in advance, and most are doing primary school runs at that time in the morning so it's unlikely she'd be able to get one if she could afford it.

Would they send an inspector or something like that if I asked? I just think someone needs to see what's happening, I'm sure there's more than 28 standing although I've never counted.

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