Wheelie shalt not use

12 Dec
no wheelchairs

It is not very often I feel compelled to write about something that is essentially a common sense versus poltiics issue but this has got my back up.  For years, decades even, campaigners faught for busses to have wheelchair access and a dedicated space for a wheelchair, inorder that those confined to such devices had the option of using public transport.  It was a victory.

Now wheelchair bus users are being left, literally, on the pavement.

A bus company was taken to court by a wheelchair passenger because when he asked another passenger to politely move her childs buggy from the wheelchair space, she refused, the bus driver refused to intervene and thus the wheelchair user had to get off the bus. Initially the disabled traveller won because the actions [or inaction] contravened the Equality Act 2010.  The bus company appealled and the Court of Appeal concluded that it was a “request not a requirement” for people to vacate disabled designated seating.

My blood is boiling – how can I use a bus [or train] service that can offer me no service because the only space available is taken up with a baby buggy, suitcases, shopping etc etc.  A friend who lives in London and uses the bus every day, has twice this week alone, seen a wheelchair person left on the freezing pavement because something was in the space.  Dis-gus-ting.  

Many comments are saying that the disabled campaigners are over reacting and that common sense will prevail and that people will vacate the disabled space when it is needed – well, no they won’t.

I fully appreciate that it is ‘inconvenient’ for a parent with buggy to have to get the little one out, fold down the buggy and then sit in any of the other available seats, but you have options, you can sit anywhere, a person in a wheelchair has but one place.  

Does a wheelchair user in the wheelchair space prevent a parent with buggy getting on the bus? No, they have to chose whether to wait the next bus or get on and unbuggy child and sit elsewhere.

There is an onlne petition for those inclined – Make Vacating A Space a Requirement


Posted by on December 12, 2014 in Uncategorized


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10 responses to “Wheelie shalt not use

  1. gillyk

    December 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Totally agree with you. I couldn’t believe the ruling when I heard. It’s all wrong and I will certainly sign the petition. Un-believe-able :>>


    • amgroves

      December 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Thank you ….. shame it has to come to a law, just making it known that the staff will ask those blocking disabled spaces to move is all that is needed.


  2. gillyk

    December 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Bother – got the wrong emoticon. It’s supposed to be the one looking really cross … hugs!


    • amgroves

      December 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      LOL – I never remember the type code thingy to make them work


  3. Bushka

    December 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    🙄 Totally insensitive…..We stand judged by the way we treat our lesser fortunate fellow humans….Hugs! xx


    • amgroves

      December 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      In an instant world, there is more room for thoughtfulness or even forethought. People go round in their bemused bubble unaware of what is next to them


  4. Me

    December 12, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    That is disgraceful. Your point is well taken. What a terrible precedent to set as well. I should imagine disabled folk all over the country should react in a way that cannot be ignored. I will sign the petition too. x


    • amgroves

      December 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you – it is such a shame that manners and courtesy are things that need legalising because they are not taught, practised or seen 😦


  5. KEGGY

    December 12, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I think that anyone refusing to vacate the disabled space should be photographed and named and shamed on the internet. That would soon make many people think twice.
    I too was appalled at the insensitive decision. I feel sure that it was made because bus drivers feel too afraid to confront people nowadays for fear of retribution. It doesn’t make sense though. As you have pointed out – able-bodied people have the choice to sit elsewhere, disabled wheelchair users do not.
    I will certainly be signing the petition :yes:


    • amgroves

      December 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      The few occasions I have been on a bus, in one particular city I did experience sighs and dirty looks as I was already in the space when Mum’s with buggies wanted to get on – they still did, not one waited for the next bus, which demonstrates the options they have.

      So sad it comes to this sort of action.



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