Worksop: Larwood bus driver refused to let a mother and her severely disabled son on the bus with wheelchair
Sharon Parsons of Cowper Close, Worksop, was waiting on Goldsmith Road for the number 4 bus to Larwood with her 10-year-old son James.
When the bus pulled up, the driver told Sharon he was unable to take her son because he wasn’t insured to carry disabled passengers who are in wheelchairs.
Sharon said: “I was really confused, I have been catching the same bus for years and never had any problems before.”
“It wasn’t a case of the bus was too full because there were half a dozen people on it.”
Sharon refused to get off the bus and the driver eventually let her stay on, but insisted she took James out of his chair.
Sharon added: “The whole situation distressed James, he hates loud noises, you could tell he was distraught.”
James who suffers from Dandy- Walker syndrome has a mental age of a 2-3 year-old.
A spokesperson for Stagecoach East Midlands said: “Most vehicles that operate on our Worksop town services have a low-floor entrance and are accessible to wheelchairs.
“A small number of buses, including the one boarded by the customer, do not have the necessary adaptations for wheelchair access at present. We follow guidelines provided by the Department of Transport which state that wheelchair passengers in such circumstances should travel in a bus seat for the journey while the wheelchair is stowed in the luggage space.”
“In this case, the driver explained this to the customer and she agreed to stow the wheelchair for the duration of the journey.”
“We always put the safety of our customers first and as a responsible company we follow government advice and regulations.”
Jan Harding, chair of Bassetlaw learning disability association said: “Public transport is a big problem. I have trouble with my son whose balance is too bad to step on a bus.
“It requires two people to be able to help him as he is liable to fall backwards.”
“ My son is disabled both physically and brain damage and is unable to step up by himself. Disabled people are penalised from using public transport. To get to Retford from Worksop by taxi costs £26 return.”
Stagecoach have apologised for any convenience caused.