Woman 'humiliated' by bus scooter ban in Motspur Park

Your Local Guardian: Julia Bowers, 56, cries foul after being denied bus travel because she drives the wrong type of mobility scooter Julia Bowers, 56, cries foul after being denied bus travel because she drives the wrong type of mobility scooter

A disabled woman was “humiliated” by a bus driver who refused to let her travel because her mobility scooter might obstruct other passengers.

Julia Bowers, who lives in West Barnes Lane, complained to Transport for London (TfL) after she was denied access on the K5 bus as it stopped outside Motspur Park station.

The bus only arrives once every hour and the refusal meant she was unable to attend a crucial pre-surgery appointment at Kingston Hospital.

Ms Bowers, 56, said: “The driver looked at me and said ‘I am not letting you on’.

"I was really embarrassed and it was humiliating just sitting there while people inside were watching me.

“It only takes a few seconds for the driver to put down the ramp and there was loads of space, but in any case I should have been allowed on the bus because it is my right.

"It happened previous when a driver had to ring the depot before he would let me on. Most of the time I am let on but the rules seem to be discretionary."

A TfL spokesman said the driver had “absolutely made the correct decision” to refuse Ms Bowers access.

He said: “The turning circle is quite tight and it is very difficult for them to manoeuvre on the bus. It causes problems for other bus users."

Mike Weston, Operations Director for London Buses said: "We aim to make our buses as accessible as possible to all passengers.

"Our bus fleet is the most accessible in the world with every London bus fitted with a low floor and wheelchair ramps, and able to carry all types of wheelchair.

"We are unable to carry some types of motorised scooter because they are difficult to manoeuvre in the space available on a bus, however we are currently developing new guidance to help drivers to easily identify the scooter designs which do fit."

A spokeswoman from Transport for All, a service which supports disabled access on public transport, said: "I would strongly advise anyone who is considering buying a scooter to choose their model very carefully so it can fit on buses, and even to consider whether a wheelchair might suit them better, as TfL guidelines are that bus drivers should always allow wheelchair users onto buses."


Disabled users of public transport are invited to attend a meeting where they can learn more about their rights.

Transport for All will be speaking about what accessible transport is available, how to make complaints, and campaign to make transport providers more aware of the needs of disabled passengers.

Go4M are hosting 'Your rights on transport' on Monday, June 18 (1.30-3pm), at All Saints Day Centre in All Saints Road, Wimbledon.

For more information call 07703 596834 or email info@go4m.com.


Got a story for us? Call 020 8722 6333, tweet @WimbledonNews or email: newsdesk@wimbledonguardian.co.uk.

Comments (5)

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11:44am Thu 24 May 12

tjames says...

YAWN
YAWN tjames
  • Score: 0

6:47pm Thu 24 May 12

Hove Ex-Pat says...

TfL, & the driver are absolutely correct. This is not a "Wheelchair" in any way. What is more this lady knows it & just wants a free ride which proper wheelchairs are fully entitled to. These mobility scooters can be used by anyone with the money to buy or rent one, without being actually classed as disabled. They are also not as stable as a proper wheelchair.
TfL, & the driver are absolutely correct. This is not a "Wheelchair" in any way. What is more this lady knows it & just wants a free ride which proper wheelchairs are fully entitled to. These mobility scooters can be used by anyone with the money to buy or rent one, without being actually classed as disabled. They are also not as stable as a proper wheelchair. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: -1

9:48pm Thu 24 May 12

JoA1974 says...

I really had to laugh at the comment made by Hove Ex-Pat as it makes me wonder whether they judge everyone by their own standards? FYI Hove Ex-Pat the lady you are talking about in the article is my mum, who due to contracting polio around the age of 18 months old, is actually classified as disabled and has severe mobility problems! She is also the holder of a blue badge, which you can only get if you cannot walk very far/have mobility problems and a freedom pass for which you have to prove you are entitled! Wheelchairs can also be bought by anyone, disabled or not although I'm not quite sure why any able bodied person would want to use either of these, I had to use one a few years ago when I broke my leg and people treat you a lot differently when you are in one! Oh and just for the record the scooter she has can be picked up by one person and be put in the boot of her car and it is very stable. Do you ride on them often?
It's no wonder that disabled people are treated in such a bad way when there are people like you around!
I really had to laugh at the comment made by Hove Ex-Pat as it makes me wonder whether they judge everyone by their own standards? FYI Hove Ex-Pat the lady you are talking about in the article is my mum, who due to contracting polio around the age of 18 months old, is actually classified as disabled and has severe mobility problems! She is also the holder of a blue badge, which you can only get if you cannot walk very far/have mobility problems and a freedom pass for which you have to prove you are entitled! Wheelchairs can also be bought by anyone, disabled or not although I'm not quite sure why any able bodied person would want to use either of these, I had to use one a few years ago when I broke my leg and people treat you a lot differently when you are in one! Oh and just for the record the scooter she has can be picked up by one person and be put in the boot of her car and it is very stable. Do you ride on them often? It's no wonder that disabled people are treated in such a bad way when there are people like you around! JoA1974
  • Score: 1

7:36am Fri 25 May 12

Wood12345 says...

TFL are embarrassing as an organisation for their response to this article. To address the issue blaming the nature of the bus and the effect on other passengers without taking into account this persons right to travel is unbelievable. All buses in today's society, especially in such a varied and cultured population should be able to cater for people with disabilities. To think we will soon be hosting the Olympics and tfl will be responsible for travel...
TFL are embarrassing as an organisation for their response to this article. To address the issue blaming the nature of the bus and the effect on other passengers without taking into account this persons right to travel is unbelievable. All buses in today's society, especially in such a varied and cultured population should be able to cater for people with disabilities. To think we will soon be hosting the Olympics and tfl will be responsible for travel... Wood12345
  • Score: 1

8:13am Fri 25 May 12

MatildaB says...

tjames & Hove Ex-Pat -

How ignorant are you?
tjames & Hove Ex-Pat - How ignorant are you? MatildaB
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

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