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Prams/pushchairs on public transport

(36 Posts)
amitymama Sun 05-Oct-08 14:31:32

I was discussing this with some childless people and they all seemed to think that people with pushchairs using public transport need to fold them up if the kid is not actually sitting in it. They cited people taking the kid out and putting their shopping in it as instances of rude behaviour in which they should've folded it up because if there's not a kid using it it's not a shopping trolley and it should be folded to make room for other passengers. I argued that sometimes a kid will whinge and scream if left in a pushchair that's not moving and that it's often better to let them out to sit on a normal seat or on your lap to keep them happy and entertained and put your shopping in the seat to keep it from tipping over. If the pushchair was folded where would the shopping go and how would you hold onto the chair (which, when folded, has no brake on most models), the shopping AND the kid all while remaining seated or being able to hold onto something? If you have an older toddler and one of those lightweight pushchairs and little to no shopping with you then it's easy to fold. But if your kid isn't old enough to stand up or sit still and you have a few bags with you, what are you supposed to do? I think it's a bit petty and unreasonable to expect parents to either fold it up and then have a horrific journey trying to hold onto everything or deal with an unhappy child who wants to get out of their seat (and undoubtedly get dirty looks for the noise they're making).

So tell me mums, do you always fold your chair if your child gets out of it or do you keep it unfolded with your shopping in/on it?

PumpkinPatty Sun 05-Oct-08 14:52:36

Where I live buses generally have a luggage rack at the front. So you can put your buggy / shopping on there if there's room.

missmama Sun 05-Oct-08 14:54:18

Can I just say at the risk of sounding old blush when I had my first we didn't have the 'kneeling' buses. So we had to struggle and fold if we wanted to go anywhere, but unlike real 'old people' we also didn't have a conductor or friendly passengers to help. I am really looking forward to being able to wheel the buggy on to the bus without too much fuss this time around.

Having said all that, it bugs me when mums get on the bus take the kid out of the buggy and go down the back or upstairs
WHY DO THAT!

Olessaty Sun 05-Oct-08 14:58:07

I have an older toddler, a baby and mobility problems.

I try to be courteous with my bus-using. I get up and hold a child if a mother is folding up the buggy, I have held onto zimmerframes and folded prams for those without a spare hand, I have stood so others could sit.

I think there isn't so much support these days, I've watched people ignore others struggling and look the other way. Folding up an empty buggy even with shopping would not be such an issue if people didn't think "not my problem" when watching a heavily pregnant woman with a non-walking child try to fold up a pram on her own, and the mum of two with a walking stick getting up to help her out and standing so she could sit. People sit and get cross because they think it's rude, but won't lift a hand to help.

I would however feel a little bit cross if I was trying to get on the bus and there was an empty pram taking the space up and I couldn't get on with my pram full of baby and no one was bothered. So maybe I am a hypocrite, but I hate how I am always quick to offer help, but none is ever forthcoming. I had to stand with my two year old and a walking stick on a moving bus whilst schoolchildren sat and watched me struggle to contain the tantrum he had because he was scared as I had to hold on tight (the bus driver was a nutter).

MrsBadger Sun 05-Oct-08 15:03:21

depends how busy the bus is

Mylittlebubble Sun 05-Oct-08 15:25:38

Olessaty all is not completely lost I catch the bus every week and I always get offers of help. My DD is 5 months old so I have to put her on bus in car seat before I can fold buggy up and put on bus! Luckily there are nice people out there, even bus drivers, and I have never struggled. I wouldn't catch the bus so frequently otherwise.

PixelHerder Sun 05-Oct-08 15:26:41

I don't think it would be unreasonable to keep it unfolded with your shopping in it, even if the bus is busy. Ideally the child would also be in it, but I can understand that sometimes it may be preferable to get them out to keep them quiet.

Reason being <rant alert> I've never understood why, with all the Health and Safety legislation there is today, it is considered 'safe' for someone to try and fold a pram into a luggage rack while simultaneously holding on to one or more babies/toddlers and shopping bags, all whilst standing up in a moving (and lurching) vehicle. Tricky enough for even a strong and fit person, let alone someone with mobility problems or heavily pregnant.

By contrast, a car isn't allowed to move an inch without all passengers being strapped in and all children in approved safety seats.

Obviously there isn't an ideal solution and I don't know what the answer is - but I will only go on a bus with a pram if I can wheel it straight on there and not have to remove the child and fold it up. I will walk miles though to avoid even having to do this, it is such a nightmare if the bus is at all crowded.

I can understand why anyone would avoid public transport with babies/toddlers and use a car if they possibly could.

cory Sun 05-Oct-08 16:39:26

My dd was a baby before they brought on these new accessible buses, so I had no choice. Used to either prepare pram/pushchair before bus arrived (putting baby on pavement/holding onto toddler with reins) or hand baby to the driver. Or another passenger (driver is better as that means he can't drive off). We've never had a car, I travelled lots, I got very good at this. Once they'd learnt to walk it was a lot easier too.

These days I would probably do the same with a toddler, if the situation were to arise, though I might give myself a break if I had a small baby. Though if you hand a small baby to the driver, you won't have to worry about him driving off sudeenly, will you?

These days, when I've been travelling with a disabled older child, I have found it annoying when we've missed several buses and not been able to get the wheelchair on, because the bus was full up with 3-4yos in buggies who would clearly have been capable to walk onto the bus themselves if their Mum had been a bit more organised. (yes, I know, some of them may have been disabled, probably not all).

If I had a child old enough to get out of the buggy, then that's what they'd be doing, unless the bus was really empty. I would ask other people for help, rather than risk another Mum or a disabled person not being able to get on that bus.

AccidentalMum Sun 05-Oct-08 17:46:35

I got told off by a snotty passenger for doing this on a very quiet bus last week.

Thoughts on it...

You put your shopping in the pram to stop it tipping? And anyway no-one folds a shopping trolley do they?

Assuming child is on your lap, and bus is not full to bursting, what difference does it make? You are taking up one seat.

I am transporting DD2 in a sling and DD1 in a small pram, so could be taking up a hellava lot more space.

Here, buses that have space for prams have tiny luggage space, barely room for one umbrella buggy.

I would never ever let a driver pass a wheelchair (sure they wouldn't here). I would fold my pram or get off. The spaces are for disabled people, mums are benefiting from access legislation.

GentleOtter Sun 05-Oct-08 17:53:19

There is a huge to do in Edinburgh at the moment re prams on the bus.link here
Some of the comments are astonishing...

SaintRiven Sun 05-Oct-08 17:57:35

I used to fold the double buggy on the bus, baby over one shoulder and dd1 and ds1 clamped to my side!
dd2 is in a wheelchair which doesn't fold (she's 4) and too disabled to be taken out. Annoys me when a buggy is occupying the wheelchair space. Wheelchiars don't fold!

SaintRiven Sun 05-Oct-08 17:59:01

OMG. Just read that Edingburgh thing. How can anyone think a pram has priority over a wheelchair!
Mind you, least they have accessible buses, stupid Bristol has hardly any. Out of the 8 routes in my area, only the one hourly 689 is accessible. Makes me so cross.

SaintRiven Sun 05-Oct-08 18:00:58

Mums can get on any bus with a folded buggy, I only have the choice of that once an hour one angry

spicemonster Sun 05-Oct-08 18:24:21

Riven - don't people move their buggies when you get on with your DD? shock

SaintRiven Sun 05-Oct-08 18:41:19

not always spicemosnter and I've had some really vile comments. Lukily all the drivers on the 689 know us and make people move but its unpleasant.

Simplysally Sun 05-Oct-08 18:56:05

Where I live, you can have 2 unfolded prams/buggies on buses but wheelchairs are prioritised if they need to get on. So someone has to fold their pram in that case but I've heard some arguments with people refusing to fold their buggies before they can get on so they wait for the next bus. I can see why people prefer to drive rather than risk public transport.

amitymama Sun 05-Oct-08 19:05:25

I would and have exited a bus if a wheelchair user needed the space. They def have priority. But as someone already said, it's very tricky to fold the chair and keep hold of everything while the bus is moving. Unless it's heaving what is the harm in not folding, even if your child gets out?

theSuburbanDryad Sun 05-Oct-08 19:09:13

Riven - I had a barney with a couple of mums with toddlers in umbrella strollers who wouldn't move when a wheelchair got on! The bus driver refused to move until they did fold up their buggies but i was a battle of wills and he lost.

Makes me really really angry!

SaintRiven Sun 05-Oct-08 19:10:15

well, if there's space and no wheelchair user then leave it unfolded. Can't see thats a problem.

theSuburbanDryad Sun 05-Oct-08 19:13:27

I think some people assume it's a buggy space that wheelchairs can use, whereas in fact it's the other way around.

Gah! Stupid chavs people.

RhinestoneCowgirl Sun 05-Oct-08 19:16:38

I use the bus a lot as I don't have a car during the week, and it has become a lot easier to travel now that the routes I use have low floor buses with space for wheelchairs or up to 2 prams/buggies.

But I would always give up the space for a wheelchair user, as they obv have the priority. It's more convenient for me to wheel the buggy straight on, but I'm perfectly capable of turfing DS out and folding it.

AccidentalMum Sun 05-Oct-08 19:41:37

Sorry to hijack but does anyone have opinions on big prams on the bus? Is it a complete no-no? Not a double, but would be using it to transport 2 DCs.

PumpkinPatty Sun 05-Oct-08 19:56:20

If your baby is little I totally agree tis difficult - in fact impossible - to juggle baby, folded buggy and shopping without help. So in this case tis fair to leave your buggy up.

But if your child can walk - then it's easier in which case fold the buggy if the bus is busy (if it's quiet I don't see what the problem is).

And obviously wheelchairs always take priority over buggies.

If you need to get on the bus with a big / double buggy try and travel at times when you know the bus will be quiet (ie. not rush hour / when schools finish) if possible. But I imagine it might be difficult.

busymum1 Sun 05-Oct-08 20:16:21

sorry disagree I cm and we walk most places however we have days we need to get on bus and with 4 children under 2 to transport at times I obviously find it easier to push pushchair straight onto bus there are times when especially if raining we are left at bus stops because people won't fold their pushchair which is empty so we can't get on often 3 buses go past while waiting for that bus to pull away if you are not using the buggy for your child fold it and put it and shopping in luggage rack that what they for

SaintRiven Sun 05-Oct-08 20:32:43

'If your baby is little I totally agree tis difficult - in fact impossible - to juggle baby, folded buggy and shopping without help.'

No it isn't. Unless you have no arms.
Of course its easier to leave it up but you can't deny a disabled person that space cos its difficult to fold a buggy.

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