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Bus companies are not required by law to force parents with buggies to make way for wheelchair users

(467 Posts)
DuelingFanjo Mon 08-Dec-14 11:12:06

story

First Bus wins wheelchair court judgement - Bus companies are not required by law to force parents with buggies to make way for wheelchair users in designated bays on vehicles, senior judges ruled.

Might be a controversial opinion but I am glad.

PedlarsSpanner Mon 08-Dec-14 11:18:35

I am not glad

I am frickin livid

Selfish oiks win the day huh

FrauHelgaMissMarpleandaChuckle Mon 08-Dec-14 11:20:12

I think this is a disgrace and makes a mockery of requiring reasonable adjustments for disabled people. What's the point of making reasonable adjustments if the people you've made them for aren't able to access the service?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 08-Dec-14 11:21:02

Hmm. I'm not sure about this. I think the appeal judge has a point that the bus companies can't be liable for members of the public who "act selfishly and irresponsibly" but I would like to see the law made clearer and the person who chooses not to give up their space should be liable.

The trouble at the moment is that things aren't clear enough. People don't know what the law says, what the hierarchy of priority is and what to do if you need to get off a bus to avoid paying twice.

I would like to see a new law that makes it illegal and an offence punishable by fixed penalty not to vacate the wheelchair space for a wheelchair/disability buggy. A bit like blue badge spaces for cars but where other people can use the space unless required by the priority group.

ImpatientOne Mon 08-Dec-14 11:22:55

I am also very disappointed with this decision.

I realise that it is a very difficult situation but to me it comes down to choice, people choose to have children and take them in a buggy on a bus, wheelchair users do not have the same choices or options.

I was glad to see this from the judge though;

"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."

We cannot legislate for good manners.

TheFairyCaravan Mon 08-Dec-14 11:27:59

That is absolutely fucking appalling!

The bus only has a space because the wheelchair users campaigned, it only has a level access point because the wheelchair users campaigned.

Is there a further point of appeal or is this it? I'm fucking livid too! angry

mausmaus Mon 08-Dec-14 11:28:30

it's not a good result at all.
the judgement is all legal gobbledegook and not very clear (as far as I could see) and the press ran with the 'pushchairs cannot be forced off the bus' line...

hazeyjane Mon 08-Dec-14 11:32:24

It is absolutely appalling.

It also makes my and ds's and a lot of people's lives a lot harder. Great.

DuelingFanjo Mon 08-Dec-14 11:33:23

I think the judge has a point

Lord Justice Underhill said: "It has to be accepted that our conclusion and reasoning in this case means that wheelchair users will occasionally be prevented by other passengers from using the wheelchair space on the bus.

"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."

DuelingFanjo Mon 08-Dec-14 11:34:10

BTW 'Glad' is probably the wrong word. I think it was a reasonable judgement to make.

Samcro Mon 08-Dec-14 11:36:50

your glad
really
I am furious
one fucking wheelchair space and your glad.
I hope the people like the op who think this ok never need that space themselves or for their child.

TheFairyCaravan Mon 08-Dec-14 11:38:52

Note he says wheelchair space not pushchair space!

It is an absolutely disastrous ruling. Some selfish parents can sit there smugly with their sleeping baby, whilst a wheelchair user sits on the pavement in the fucking rain! It is a bloody scandal!

Samcro Mon 08-Dec-14 11:40:24

i do hope they do appeal and someone starts a petition

ReallyTired Mon 08-Dec-14 11:41:58

"I would like to see a new law that makes it illegal and an offence punishable by fixed penalty not to vacate the wheelchair space for a wheelchair/disability buggy. A bit like blue badge spaces for cars but where other people can use the space unless required by the priority group."

100% agree.

I think that making life unnecessariily difficult for a disabled person should be made a criminal offence. The woman who refused to fold her buggy is the one who needs to be punished rather than the bus driver. I feel that a spot of community service would be a wonderful cure for precious first bornitus.

We need video cameras to make it easier to enforce laws on forcing able bodied passengers to give up a wheelchair space. The police need to be prepared to make time assist drivers with difficult passengers.

The recent ruling makes an absolute mockery of disablity rights.

TheFairyCaravan Mon 08-Dec-14 11:43:22

The fucking judge says the disabled should go to Parliament to ask for improvement in these cases! Like the fucking Tories give a shit, so that wouldn't get off the ground would it?

Bilberry Mon 08-Dec-14 11:43:34

Oh dear, is this going to be a re-run of the last thread? I'm not going to post my opinion as I don't want to enter a bun fight and I think this has already been done to death.

I'm off!

Lweji Mon 08-Dec-14 11:44:04

What is the legal position on reserved seats, though?
I would think it's roughly equivalent.

SantasBassoon Mon 08-Dec-14 11:45:08

Bus drivers shouldn't be legally obliged to police troublemakers.

This isn't a victory for selfish people, it's a victory for vulnerable employees of bus companies.

ReallyTired Mon 08-Dec-14 11:47:26

"Bus drivers shouldn't be legally obliged to police troublemakers. "

They aren't. They have the option of calling the police to deal with troublemakers.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 08-Dec-14 11:47:29

The problem is what can the bus company do? They cannot physically remove the passenger from the space. They cannot stop the bus until they move as that risks aggression from other passengers. They cannot call the police as it is a civil matter (?).

I completely agree that wheelchairs should have priority over pushchairs, but how can that be enforced? The judge was right, as the law stands there isn't really anything a bus driver can do.

Lilymaid Mon 08-Dec-14 11:47:41

Court of Appeal judgment here

DuelingFanjo Mon 08-Dec-14 11:48:00

like I said, 'Glad' is the wrong word.

I would move for someone with a disability. Of course I would.
I just don't think you can legislate to make bus companies enforce it.

Sirzy Mon 08-Dec-14 11:48:45

This is going to make things even worse now for those who use wheelchairs as people who move because they feel they must will now refuse because they know they can't be made to move.

Shocking decision.

NoLongerJustAShopGirl Mon 08-Dec-14 11:49:06

I think the ruling was right. You cannot make the bus company responsible for enforcing.

Some people are idiots, some people are violent when confronted with their idiocy - bus drivers should not be put in harm's way to enforce this. (that is what would be asked of them if the bus companies had been held responsible for enforcement)

Their other option if they have to enforce would be to stop, park up, leave the bus and wait for an enforcement officer - leading to chaos - if people cannot rely on a bus to get them there, they will not use it.

DuelingFanjo Mon 08-Dec-14 11:49:21

from the judgement " It is not about whether non-wheelchair users should move out of the wheelchair space on a bus in order to accommodate a passenger in a wheelchair. Of course they should if that is possible. Nor is it about whether mothers standing in the wheelchair space with a child in a folding buggy should fold their buggies in order to make way for a wheelchair user. Of course they should if that is possible. Non-wheelchair users, unlike wheelchair users, will normally have a choice about which part of the bus to sit or stand in. Common decency and respect for wheelchair users should mean that other passengers make way for them. What is at issue is whether the bus company must have a policy to compel all other passengers to vacate the wheelchair space irrespective of the reason why they are in it, on pain of being made to leave the bus if they do not, leaving no discretion to the driver."

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