How many wheelchair users or people with mobility impairments have been unable to sit in the area designed for them because pushchairs are taking up all the room?
We have heard it from a lot of our members and users that the drivers do not tell the person with the pram to move, and do not help the disabled person to use their designated area of the bus.
Such a thing happened on a First Direct Bus, when a driver was unwilling to ask a woman to move a pushchair containing her sleeping child, from the wheelchair space it was occupying.
Leeds county court ruled that the policy of ‘asking not telling’ was discriminatory and a failure to make reasonable adjustments, and awarded £5,500 to the disabled man who brought the case
The judge said that the Equality Act manifested Parliament’s decision to “give protection to disabled wheelchair users and not to non-disabled mothers with buggies”.
First Group have appealed the decision, so it will go to the Court of Appeal, where 3 judges will examine the case and give a ruling which should give us a clear legal judgement on how far the Equality Act can be relied upon to protect the rights of wheelchair users and others to use their local accessible buses.
We will keep you informed of their decision.