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Wheelchairs versus buggies court ruling

(113 Posts)
Rigby46 Wed 18-Jan-17 17:53:29

Well it's a start. Let's hope the bus companies train and support their drivers and that passengers back them up.

Ana Wed 18-Jan-17 17:58:33

Yes, I agree. There are far too many mums who really believe they're 'entitled' to take up public transport space if they've got a buggy and child with them, at the expense of the disabled.

rosesarered Wed 18-Jan-17 17:59:14

I do hope so, I don't think it would be fair for a Mother and baby to be ejected from a bus, but I would expect a pushchair to be moved for the wheelchair user.It's a pity that today's buggies are so massive, they are the four by four with bull bars of the baby equipment world.

rosesarered Wed 18-Jan-17 17:59:46

Typo,,,it's a pity..

rosesarered Wed 18-Jan-17 18:00:56

Good on the disabled man who took this to court ( 5 years!)

Rigby46 Wed 18-Jan-17 18:22:58

Does anyone remember 'tansads'? Is that the name? I recall they had to be folded before you got on the bus with them and the conductor ( those were the days) put it under the stairs for you. The bus companies should ban all non foldable buggies. Small foldable ones are available that are suitable for very young babies. I think the Rolls Royce ones are a bit of a status symbol. I remember having a McClaren that I used on buses/trains

gettingonabit Wed 18-Jan-17 18:30:46

I'm uncomfortable about this. I don't know the ins and outs of this case (correct me if I'm wrong) but I gather that the rights of the wheelchair guy have been judged to trump those of mothers with non-folding buggies?

If so, I think this is all very well in principle but in my view no driver should be required to deal with these issues, without support.

So-passenger refuses to move to accommodate disabled person. Then what? As I gather, the driver only has the power to "require" that the awkward passenger makes way for the disabled person. S/he has no other powers. What then? Police?

rosesarered Wed 18-Jan-17 18:31:55

Yes, buggies for bus use should be folded up.I had a McClaren too, blue and white striped, a nifty thing it was.

rosesarered Wed 18-Jan-17 18:33:41

Yes, of course the wheelchair user should have the right to occupy the place designed for a wheelchair, a buggy should be moved or folded.

rosesarered Wed 18-Jan-17 18:34:21

It needs new laws I think.

rosesarered Wed 18-Jan-17 18:34:44

Sad that it needs laws though.

Ana Wed 18-Jan-17 18:41:12

Yes, bus drivers can now 'require' rather than 'request' that a space occupied by a passenger with buggy should be given up for a wheelchair-user wanting to get on the bus.

The only option suggested seemed to be that the the bus driver should refuse to drive on until this had happened. The other passengers might make their feelings felt as well, but they may not all be on the same side!

Pigglywiggly Wed 18-Jan-17 18:41:28

Rugby my mother had a Tansad for my sister and it had to be put under the stairs. I remember worrying myself silly that someone would steal it. I also remember that there was only space for a couple of pushchairs and if someone wanted to get on with one when the space was full the conductor (remember them) would put his hand up and say 'No more pushchairs. There'll be another bus along in a minute'. Of course in those days it was true. Could be an hour before the next bus here.

Rigby46 Wed 18-Jan-17 18:57:35

Yes you're right, it does need new legislation but in the meantime, as I said, the drivers may need some training and local bus companies could put up notices on buses and at bus stops saying what their policy is - only foldable buggies that must be folded if a wheelchair user needs the space and we don't care if your baby has just got off to sleep. What's particular unfair is that disability rights campaigners fought long and hard to get these spaces on buses and now some entitled mothers think they can piggy back onto and usurp these hard won rights

MaizieD Wed 18-Jan-17 18:58:42

Just for once I agree with roses about the size/complexity of modern pushchairs. shock

There really should be space on buses for wheelchairs and pushchairs. When my children were small I could manage a toddler, a baby, a pushchair and shopping on the bus; the pushchair was a buggy and very easy to fold with one hand. I wouldn't care to be trying that with modern buggys. As for pushchairs! I couldn't manage to fold up my GS's pushchair base with two hands and all the time in the world (i.e in a car park trying to get it into the boot of my car). No way could I have managed it on a bus (plus a baby, of course) I couldn't even easily come to terms with the buggy they bought when he was older...

rosesarered Wed 18-Jan-17 19:00:37

There may be other subjects we agree on too! shock

Ankers Wed 18-Jan-17 19:02:55

I dont think the ruling has gone far enough.

And makes bus drivers' lives more difficult.

Rigby46 Wed 18-Jan-17 19:10:59

Maizie simple folding buggies still exist but are not considered 'smart' enough by some. There's an issue about lots of space for buggies and wheelchairs - we need seats as well.

MaizieD Wed 18-Jan-17 19:32:42

Rigby My DGS's buggy was supposedly 'easy', but it was nothing like the very simple Mothercare one I had 30+ years ago!

MaizieD Wed 18-Jan-17 19:35:04

Yes. we do need seats but I notice on buses I've been on in Europe that many seem to have larger spaces without seats and more people expect to stand.

Grannyben Wed 18-Jan-17 20:43:56

Oh, I'm so divided on this (I may put my tin hat on). On one hand, I don't think this ruling has done any good whatsoever; the poor bus driver has just been left like piggy in the middle. The law should have been made clear, a disabled passenger either has an absolute right to the space or they don't. On the other hand, it does seem like mother's seem to be an easy target. I'm sure most are quite reasonable human beings and it can't be fair to tar them all with the same brush. On a personal note, I use the bus every day. I frequently have my young grandson with me and I am in quite poor health having had major spinal surgery (thankfully I do not need to use a wheelchair). I always use the space if it is available but if someone with a newborn gets on I automatically put mine down as our little one is quite capable of sitting on my knee. Similarly, if the bus is full, I will move the pushchair into the corner and offer my seat if I see someone who I think needs it more. However, last week, I got on the bus and just prior to the bus departing a young man got on in an electric wheelchair. I immediately moved the sleeping baby, bags and pushchair to make way for him. Not a word of thanks (politeness goes both ways) and we literally went round the corner and he got off at the next stop. He was in an electric chair, he wasn't pushing.

Deedaa Wed 18-Jan-17 20:55:27

I can remember using buses in the days of the blue and white Maclaren buggy. Folded up under the stairs and the baby on my lap. Of course in those days there was no provision at all for wheelchairs on a bus, or in a taxi. Presumably the disabled either got a lift from a friend or stayed at home.

The worst thing in those days was the fact that pushchairs weren't allowed in cafes. Having a cup of tea meant risking leaving the buggy outside and trying to wrestle a fractious infant on your lap while trying to drink the tea. The girls today with their massive pushchairs don't know the half of it.

gettingonabit Wed 18-Jan-17 21:11:04

grannyben I agree with your first couple of sentences.

The only way that disabled passengers can be guaranteed the space is to ban non-folding buggies from buses.

At the moment, there are too many imponderables. Supposing a mum and buggy are waiting at a bus stop. Bus stops; mum and buggy get on, purchase a ticket, sit down with buggy in wheelchair space. So far, no problem. In fact, the problem of buggies-whether folded or not- taking up disabled space only arises if a disabled person with wheelchair gets on the bus. My question is: does the possibility-no matter how remote-of a disabled person wishing to take up a disabled place justify refusing a mum and buggy from using the bus?

Im not sure if I'm making sense, but what I'm trying to say is that it's impossible to predict who is going to be using the bus on any given day. There may be disabled people; there may not. There may be buggies; there may not. Most of the time, people muddle through by making compromises, and by being considerate. And what happens if there's a disabled child in a buggy? What if there's more than one wheelchair user wishing to get on at the same stop?

It seems to me that this legislation was passed in haste, with little thought to how it was going to be implemented in reality. The driver can "require" all s/he likes, but has no actual power to enforce the law.

Grannyben Wed 18-Jan-17 21:36:35

I quite agree, the drivers have been left in absolute limbo and, as I've said, I truly believe that most young mums are reasonable and considerate but, what will the driver do if one mum refuses to budge. This new law does not say she has to move, the driver cannot force her to move and, it's fine saying he can turn the engine off but if she's the sort of person who doesn't care that isn't going to force her hand, she will just sit it out

Ankers Wed 18-Jan-17 21:40:25

And meanwhile the poor driver will have some passengers happy for him to wait it out, and others who will not be quite so accomodating to say the least!