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Have Lothian buses stopped letting prams on?

(72 Posts)
weeglenny Sat 19-Jul-08 09:14:36

Just asking because I was down at Ocean Terminal the other day and the bus driver said that as my pram wouldn't fold down like a pushchair, he couldn't let me on and said it was a new policy of Lothian Buses hmm

I've checked their website and couldn't find anything, tried calling them but no answer so just wondering if anyone else has heard this?

TIA

ThePettyandIllinformedGoat Sat 19-Jul-08 09:24:19

my sister was told this too, except in her case he let her on.

weeglenny Sat 19-Jul-08 09:40:58

What a nightmare then! I know that prams have to vacate the space if a wheelchair comes on, and I've done so willingly a number of times, but I don't see the logic behind them banning prams altogether...

I think I might need to write a letter of complaint to them. With all the tram works at the moment I really hate taking the car into town

carolineburgess Sat 19-Jul-08 16:15:23

Hi,

I'm afraid it is true that Lothian buses have banned prams.

Last Monday I was refused entry on the bus with my new baby.

I have contacted our (edinburgh West)local MSP as well has making contact with the media.

Please see below my letter published in the evening news.

http://news.scotsman.com/letters/Public-transport---.4297285.jp?CommentPage=1&CommentPageLe ngth=1000

I am outraged at this discrimination.

Most buggies are not designed for little babies - usually they are for four months plus which means that new babies can't travel unless you put them on your knee - in my opinion it is very dangerous to travel like this as if the bus were to stop sharply you could potentially injure your baby.

I have also started getting other Mum's opinions through the netmums Edinburgh notice board.

Lothian buses have confirmed that prams are now banned - They have now updated their terms of carriage to reflect this change.

http://lothianbuses.com/downloads/corporate/ConditionsOfCarriage.pdf

Please get in touch via netmums.

I would like to add that I had travelled without any problems until last Monday. I have always got off the bus should someone that users a wheel chair need to space. I really feel that the space is there firstly for those who need it to accommodate their wheel chair however if unoccupied then other travel systems should be able to be used.

My main gripe is why are buggies Ok yet my car seat on the chassis of a pram (which is very compact) is not.

I think that many people may have purchased a prams / car seat that can be used on thier pram chassis and will now not be able to use them on lothian transport. To then have to purchase a buggy is an extra outlay for families that we could do without.

I am going to take this all the way as it is just crazy!

Let me know what you think

Caroline
x

meep Sun 20-Jul-08 09:36:02

bumping this as I can't quite belive LRT! It's outrageous.

What can we do about it?

I might just post on the main board to try to get some more support!

Totally shocked!

meep Sun 20-Jul-08 09:42:31

just read your letter and the LRT terms.

So you can take a buggy on an accessible bus as long as it folds - but it appears that you don't have to fold it hmm but you can't take a pram on??!!!

Madness

bookswapper Mon 21-Jul-08 22:27:37

so true
the driver told me it was because of an english case where the bus stopped sharply and the baby in the lie flat pram broke its legs sad

i took my baby out the pram for the journey into town but struggled to get a driver to let me on to get home...

bookswapper Mon 21-Jul-08 22:29:20

if that is the reason surely a car seat on a pram chassis is ok?

Janos Tue 22-Jul-08 15:54:56

I'm really shocked at this!

I don't drive and relied on the buses to get about with DS when he was tiny. I wasn't always using a pram but often did.

Is there some sort of petition?

TheCrackFox Tue 22-Jul-08 17:20:20

Thank God my boys have grown out of prams. I too can't drive so rely on buses.

TBH I think this is discrimination.

Hazy1 Thu 24-Jul-08 13:54:49

Hi

I'm a reporter for the Evening News. I did a story this week on Lothian Buses' refusal to allow prams on :

http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/New-mum39s-shock-at-bus.4311029.jp

I'd like to do another story considering all the opposition to this from parents. If you've been refused permission to get on a bus, or you have strong views about this, please get in touch by emailing hmollison@scotsman.com or calling 0131 620 8752.

Thanks very much!
Hazel Mollison

josy Fri 25-Jul-08 22:50:31

Please complain to LRT. Can you imagine the uproar if they were to ban wheelchair users from buses, so why should mothers with prams be any different.Why can't the spaces be for wheelchairs & prams and then it would be a case of first come first served? In the 2 years I've taken a pram on a bus i can count on one hand the times that i've had to move for someone in a wheelchair but have been unable to get on a bus due to another pram many times. Unfortunately there is no alternative to using lrt but please let it be known that we are not happy about this blatant discrimation.

redrobin Sun 27-Jul-08 19:43:01

This is a bloody outrage! Parents will either be stuck or have to use their cars more. i have a double buggy - how can i be expected to manage two children and a folded up buggy? its hard enough manoevering on at the best of times. this is utter discrimination. i will get in touch with you Caroline!

HereComeTheGirls Sun 27-Jul-08 19:46:37

redrobin - Foldable buggies are OK, and you don't HAVE to fold them, they just require that they ARE foldable. So you would be fine, unless a wheelchair user came on and then you would be asked to fold your buggy/get off. It is pretty ridiculous they won't allow prams on though, I agree!

sofiele Sun 27-Jul-08 20:29:58

I'm shocked at this! Where can we call/write to complain?

meep Sun 27-Jul-08 20:37:33

Have been thinking about this and the only reason seems to be something to do with an English case where a baby broke its legs because the bus driver stopped sharply.

The thing with that is that to claim against the bus company you would have to show that the bus driver was negligent in the way he was driving/the way he stopped.

So, LRT just seem to be taking the whole fear of litigation thing too far. People make claims against bus companies all the time - but are only successful if negligence is proved.

Hopefully most bus drivers are not negligent drivers - therefore babies in prams should be safe?

I accept that false claims can be made andthat insurers do tend to make settlement offers rather than face litigation - but come on!

Just thinking out loud here.

Have just had a bfp - so we have approx 7/8 months to get lrt sorted so that I can get on a bus by April 2009!

katiepotatie Sun 27-Jul-08 20:43:10

My friend got into town on the bus with her pram and toddler, only to be refused to travel home again on the bus, she had to walk all the way home with 20 mnth old and new baby!shock
I will be complaining to LRT angry
Although I think LRT drivers are a law unto themself. One driver made me fold my buggy, even though the bus was empty!

RMCN Mon 28-Jul-08 19:42:46

Caroline

I am also appalled by this news. I am currently 33 weeks pregnant and purchased a Teutonia buggy with carrycot attachment for the early months so that my baby can lie flat - in accordance with the latest government guidelines. The carrycot attachment is not designed to be removed on the go. Very few are.

I hasten to add that I am not a car owner or driver and will be totally reliant on my legs and public transport.

I have reviewed the conditions of carriage on LRT website and it states quite clearly that prams are not allowed.

PrincessButterfly Tue 29-Jul-08 09:49:11

Caroline

You can count on my support on this one. I had missed the original article in the evening news and went to get on a bus with my 3 year old toddler and 1 year old twins (therefore no matter what type of buggy I have I'm not getting on a bus) the driver was refusing me entry I was horrifed and had even prepaid my ticket at the ticket machine. He eventually said he would allow me this once. I just put it down to one of these bus drivers who like to throw their weight about. When I got back home I called LRT who said twins was fine it was only about prams. I figured it was to do with prams where babies lie flat and are not strapped in. That was until I saw last nights paper. I often meet friends at Ocean Terminal or across town at Silverknowes, these are hour long bus journeys and are definately an impossibility for a 3 year old to walk. I am also horrifed at some of the very anti child comments on the evening news website in regards to the story.
I have contacted my local MP and MSP to request support for the cause. It would be good if everyone did this. You can find your local MP and MSP details at www.writetothem.com and fill out an online contact form.

nailpolish Tue 29-Jul-08 09:51:13

i agree with all of you
i used buses a lot when baby was small

dotn forget - you can always use a sling

Angela09 Tue 29-Jul-08 10:29:27

I see some people have had problems with drivers making them fold their buggies even though there was no one in the space, I have had this problem too and they are a law on to themselves, I also was refused on a bus a week or so ago because some people had luggage in the disabled/ pram space and they refused to move it so driver told me I would have to wait on next one.

Another incident happened to me at Christmas I had been on the bus for one stop, when someone got one with a wheelchair, now I have no problem getting of the bus or moving for a wheelchair user but the bus driver for want of a better word was a git. He first of all said to the lady she couldn't get on I shouted it wasn't a problem I would fold mine up, if I could get a hand, bus driver refused and not one person on the bus made a move to help. Then the lady who was with the wheelchair user offered to help now my LO was 2 weeks old was in his car seat and I was two weeks after a section but between us we managed to get the car seat off the frame, but I had to get the pram bag off the frame
and the stuff out the basket on the bottom.

After a wee bit and I mean a minute or two people on the bus started complaining and the bus driver told me I would have to get off, by this time I was in tears, I said fine and he put me off the bus with a half collapsed pram and I spent five mins at the side of the road trying to struggle to sort it and get it back together. The driver told me when I got off to sort myself and just show my ticket to the next driver. So I got me and the wee man sorted and waited on the next bus. when it comes I did as the last driver had said and explained and was told that I couldn't get on. The same thing happened with another two buses by which time I was sobbing. I turned round and went home, I had been on my way to a hospital appointment which I then missed.

I don't drive so if I have another one then I dont know what I'm gonna do.

angry

If there is anything I can do caroline let me know!

Also just a small point that in the paper it is saying things are being organised by netmums, which is another site that I use and when I had a look apart from a thread I started when the article was in the evening news there is nothings on there obvious, but Im taking it you meant here, Its just a small point but might be worth getting in touch with the evening news and getting the right web address on.

Also someone mentioned a sling, I cannot use a sling because I have had back problems after a car accident so that might not be for everyone!

redrobin Tue 29-Jul-08 12:44:08

angela i completely sympathise, the drivers are b*&£%&&@! poor you.

RMCN Tue 29-Jul-08 21:16:45

Following my entry above, I e-mailed LRT buses and received the attached response. I have also e-mailed the relevant MSP's for my ward.

See attached response:-

Thank you for your email comments.

Lothian buses have not announced a new pram policy. The background to
our pram policy is that under our Conditions of Carriage unfolded prams
have not been carried on our buses since the introduction of one man bus
operations in the "70's" when buses entrances had steps and could not
accommodate wheelchairs, however lightweight, folded buggies could be
accommodate in the luggage rack when space is available.

With the introduction of the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility
Regulations 2000, which required all new buses to be low floored and
provide a wheelchair area, space became available for one unfolded
buggy when this area was not required by a wheelchair users.
In the interest of safety wheelchair users when using the space were
instructed to face the rear of the bus, positioning their chair with
their back to the padded panel with the brake applied. An unfolded buggy
should also be placed with the back of the buggy against the padded
panel with the brake applied however prams could not be placed in a
similar safe position and our policy of not accepting prams remained
unchanged.

The primary role of new accessible buses was to allow disabled and
particularly wheelchair users access to public transport which unlike
buggies users had previously been denied to them and who have no choice
but to use a wheelchair space when travelling and the dimensions of the
wheelchair space (1200X 700) were set by the Disabled Persons Transport
Advisory Committee based on a reference wheelchair size. The reason for
setting this size was to allow disabled people to purchase a suitable
wheelchair which could be accommodated on any low floor/wheelchair
accessible bus. There are no similar guidelines for the purchase of
buggies and prams and while parents with children and buggies have
travelled on low floored buses for many years now without problems, some
parents have purchased prams which are not suitable for travel on our
buses and our staff in bringing this to the attention of these
passengers are only implement a policy which has been in place for many
years.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) amended 2002 regulations
requires that a driver must ask a person to vacate the wheelchair space
if it is required by a wheelchair user. This can includes passengers
such as a parent with a buggy and should therefore be foldable and
small enough to be safely stored in the luggage rack if required and
passengers should not be offended if ask by a driver to do so.

Given the hundred or more designs of buggies, we can only give drivers
outline advice on there suitability. since the decision on whether any
item including a baby buggy, can be carried safely has be to at the
discretion of the driver based on individual journey circumstances and
I have attached a sample of the guidelines of types of
buggies/pushchairs acceptable on our buses

Our Conditions of carriage can be found on our website under Disclaimer,
and I have also attached a copy of these.

Public transport providers have to balance the needs of all passengers
and can only ask that each group considers the needs of others .

I hope that the above background information with explains our pram
policy and on behalf of Lothian buses may I thank you for contacting us
on this matter.

Your sincerely
John Quinn
Customer Services Manager

lilangel1981 Tue 29-Jul-08 23:13:43

I am pregnant at the moment and am expecting twins in October. I am reliant on buses as I don't drive so wonder if anyone knows if a twin buggy can be taken on buses and if they even fit on a bus.I know I would struggle if I was asked to take the buggy down but I would be willing to get off the bus if a wheelchair did come on.

nailpolish Wed 30-Jul-08 15:39:53

i was on lothian buses today

a 26 and a 1

both had unfolded pushchairs on them and the driver didnt bat an eyelid

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