The 'wheelchair v buggy' bus case

  Quickbeam 09:43 19 Jan 2017

Move up please: Apart from the unbelievable selfish stance of someone that would see a wheelchair user stranded at a bus stop, it seems that another result of this case will affect those that use all the disabled parking spaces because they can't be bothered to walk an extra 10 yard to the shop!

  Forum Editor 10:08 19 Jan 2017

This is a really tricky issue, and I can understand why the Supreme Court ruling doesn't go as far as the disability campaigners might have hoped. It stopped short of making it compulsory for people to give up space to wheelchair users, opting instead for a transfer of responsibility to (in this case) bus drivers.

Drivers will now have to consider a further step to pressurise passengers who refuse to surrender space, depending on circumstances, and that pressure may extend to "refusing to drive on" until the request was complied with.

Being confined to a wheelchair is bad enough, and having the additional stress of worrying about boarding a bus or train must make it much worse. That said, the court's ruling is not going to remove the potential for arguments at bus stops, and outcomes are still going to depend on individual drivers' judgements.

  morddwyd 11:07 19 Jan 2017

As a wheelchair user I must declare an interest, but my understanding is that before this court ruling the space was for buggies or wheelchairs. If this is so the woman was entitled to occupy the space, as she was there first.

Either the wheelchair user was left at the bus stop to return home or wait for another bus, or the woman and child were ordered off the bus and stranded Heaven knows how far from home or destination.

Judgement of Solomon, and the judge blew it!

  LastChip 11:10 19 Jan 2017

This is a diabolical judgement and took no account of the position it left the driver in.

I've seen drivers spat at, sworn at and on one occasion physically assorted when simply trying to do their job.

Now, this judgement has made them the target of a potentially aggressive confrontation.

It's yet another legal judgement that tries to appease one side, leaving the other in a far worse position. It's a disgrace.

  BT 12:35 19 Jan 2017

The biggest problem with Buggies/Pushchairs is the sheer size of them these days which really makes them unsuitable for taking on buses and yet there are people who insist on trying. They then block the aisles which is a safety/access issue for all passengers. There are small ones available and you would think that those who need to use buses regularly would use these rather than the monster truck versions.

Back when buses were of the Routemaster style with the rear platform being the only access, with a conductor, the rule was that pushchairs had to be folded so that they could be stowed under the stairs and I recall notices to that effect. Unfortunately in those days Wheelchairs were a No-No. We wouldn't want to go back to those days obviously, but I do feel that regular pushchair users should consider the suitability of the type they choose for this purpose.

Also these days most buses have seats which are labelled for elderly or disabled passengers and ask that they be offered as such, but there are those who ignore this even when there are plenty of other seats available.

  wee eddie 12:39 19 Jan 2017

One point.

The woman said that her Buggy did not fold. This was clearly incorrect. All Buggies fold, but some are easier to fold than others. In this case I think that she could not be bothered to fold the buggy. Possibly, because it was full of shopping

  Quickbeam 13:26 19 Jan 2017

What about the implications of it also affecting disabled parking space abuse?

  Forum Editor 13:31 19 Jan 2017

"What about the implications of it also affecting disabled parking space abuse?"

That is already covered by legislation - people who park in a disabled bay without a blue badge are liable to a fine, just as if they park anywhere else illegally. I don't see that the recent Supreme Court ruling has any relevance.

  daz60 14:15 19 Jan 2017

As a bus driver i face this situation regularly and my solution would be to remove one seat near the allotted space so widening the area to allow ample room for a wheelchair and buggy and space for the double buggies we see these days.

There are seats availabe for disabled passengers to use so two seating spaces removed and if no buggy/chair then extra standing room becomes available.

First and foremost it is attitudes that need to change,we have,in my opinion,become less accomadating especially to disabled people.

  Cymro. 14:44 19 Jan 2017

"What about the implications of it also affecting disabled parking space abuse?"

I think the problem will be on at places such as supermarket carparks where it seems up to the supermarket to sort things out re. disabled parking. As far as I know there is no way a supermarket can can fine anyone for parking in such a space without a Blue Badge.

Perhaps now the supermarket staff will be able to ASK those who park in Disabled Spaces without a Blue Badge tp move their cars.

  bremner 14:53 19 Jan 2017

before this court ruling the space was for buggies or wheelchairs

What I have read is that it was a space with a sign that said ""Please give up this space if needed for a wheelchair user." i.e. offering no priority for buggies.

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