Doug Paulley wins First Bus discrimination ruling

The BBC  printed an article on a disabled man who has won a legal ruling against the bus company First Bus Group over its wheelchair policy. You may remember I reported on a similar case with Arriva buses earlier this year. It seems that bus companies allow passengers who have already boarded the bus to take priority over disabled people in wheel chairs who want to board the bus.

Disabled people cannot stand up

Let’s be sensible. A baby can be picked up out of the buggy, the buggy can be folded up. A disabled man using a wheelchair cannot get out of his wheelchair, collapse it and then stand up. disabled people are in a wheelchair for a very good reason – they cannot stand up.

The buses operate a first-come-first-serve policy. They do not tell people where they can and where they cannot sit. Notices are put up in the buses saying that certain seats are reserved for disabled people in wheel chairs and people with buggies but anyone can sit in them.  That concept is absolutely fine by me.

Where does the problem lie?

  • Should people already occupying the space voluntarily move thus making space for a person in a wheelchair?
  • Should the bus driver tell people to move from their seat so that there is space for the wheelchair?
  • Should the bus company insist that priority be given to people in a wheelchair?

I can see this getting horribly complicated. I think people should take it upon themselves to ensure  there is space for a person in a wheelchair on the bus. On the London underground people could see I was disabled so they would volunteer to stand up and give me their seat without being asked. OK I did not have a wheelchair but…

Moral dilemma

Imagine the outrage if a bus company refused to allow a mother and baby onto the bus because there was not enough room for the buggy?

I don’t think we should blame the bus company. This is definitely a moral dilemma.

Associated articles

Bus firm Arriva wins landmark court case

Disabled passengers in Darlington sue bus firm

Doug wins First Bus discrimination ruling this is a BBC article

2 responses to “Doug Paulley wins First Bus discrimination ruling”

  1. Barry says:

    Hi I live in sydney I have a three wheel travelscoot disability scooter and have been refused bus entry because it has three.wheels not four they say its an occupation health and safety issue this was a government bus line as if being disabled is not enough what’s your feelings on this thank you for listening Barry

    • Hello Barry,

      Funnily enough I just returned from visiting my son in Sydney. The situation you describe with three wheeled disability scooters also applies in Edinburgh, Scotland. My own feeling is that this is discrimination. I think there might be a little bit of envy and jealousy in thes because a TravelScoot does look like being fun to ride. I get a lot of envious glances here in England and people often want to stop and talk to me about it.

      In England each bus company makes up the rules. For example my local bus company will occasionally request a passport for the scooter but are reluctant to come out and issue me with one. In London there are no such problems. Personally I think there is a much greater problem with the larger bulkier mobility scooters such as a Go-Go it is much much heavier, far less manoeuvrable and takes up more space.

      It might be worth talking to Daniel who is the Australian TravelScoot distributor and lives in Sydney.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.