Father's anger after six-year-old wheelchair user is refused access onto bus


Grace Witherden

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A father has hit out after his disabled son was refused access onto a bus.

Martin Dobson who lives in Burnham with his wife and two children, said his family was left distressed after being told by the Courtney Buses driver they could not board.

His six-year-old son William is wheelchair bound and was refused access onto the 53 bus to Maidenhead because there were pushchairs in the disabled space on Friday.

Martin said: “My wife Kirsty and my children, William and Abby were waiting to go into Maidenhead as they wanted to go to the cinema.

“After waiting in the queue they were then told they were not allowed onto the bus.

“The driver made no attempt to get the people with collapsible pushchairs in the wheelchair seating to move.

“My son enjoys going on the bus and after the incident he just thought he had done something wrong and it was all his fault.

“I’m concerned about vulnerable people, they might wait in the rain for 20 minutes and then get told they cannot get on.

“The bus route is from Wexham Park, so you would expect to have more disabled passengers on the route.”

Martin spoke to Courtney Buses and was told a court ruling meant bus companies no longer had to insist pushchairs make way for wheelchair users. But the policy is for the driver to ask if the pushchair can be folded.

Simon Fisher, general manager of Courtney Buses, disputed the claim that the driver did not ask the passenger to move.

He said: “The space at the front of the bus is designed to accommodate wheelchairs, pushchairs and luggage such as trolleys etc, and it is there on a first come first served basis.

“We understand from the experienced driver on this particular service, that there were two items in the space provided, one of which could not be folded.

“On this occasion the driver was satisfied by the nature of the items in the space, that they could not be safely folded and space made available.

“If our procedure has not been followed correctly, we can only apologise for this incident and reaffirm our policy to drivers, which we have done – and it is prominently placed on our staff notice board.”


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