New Wheelchair Advice Given To Bus Drivers

New from the ‘about bloody time’ pile: Transport for London has issued new guidance to bus drivers about accepting wheelchair and mobility scooters.

The last few months has seen a spate of stories about disabled people having difficulty travelling by London bus, probably triggered by the imminent Paralympics. There’s Ray Bellisario, told 28 times he could not board buses, sworn at and assaulted. Muscular dystrophy sufferer Ollie Knocker says he is late for work twice a week because drivers won’t let him on board with his mobility scooter. Johnathan Byrne had to pay £73 for new train tickets after a driver prioritised an empty pram over him, and meant he missed the connection home.

TfL have reminded their drivers that the wheelchair space on buses is for wheelchairs, not buggies (which should be folded if a wheelchair user needs to board) or people standing or luggage. They’ve also issued an illustrated guide to permitted chairs and scooters, which complements a mobility card issued to disabled people earlier in the year.

The able bodied should also take some responsibility: if we see a driver being an arse, we should speak up instead of grumbling about being made late. Bus use is important for wheelchair users, as this recent map highlighting the lack of tube accessibility demonstrates.

Photo by RUHUMAN from the Londonist Flickr pool

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  • Bernard

    Do you, or any readers, have a copy of the mobility card you can share? Happy to wade in when it comes to arseishness but would like to feel a little informed?

  • Mary Collier

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS! I use a small Pride GO GO mobility scooter (due to Polio paralyzed leg). I haven’t had any problems in London, my favorite city. However I forwarded the London Bus Guidelines to the Lothian Bus system in Edinburgh where they deny access to ALL mobility scooters. This was a definite hardship when I visited there for a week last August. I saw prams loaded onto their buses that were much bigger than my small scooter and less manageable. I appreciate your coverage of mobility issues. Thank you

  • Peterkinsmith