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Wheelchairs vs buggies on the bus

  • 08-11-2020 9:42pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 426 ✭✭ Eleven Benevolent Elephants


    What's the legal situation? Do wheelchairs users have priority?

    The other day I was assisting a disabled family member to a medical appointment. She is quite a large framed lady and wouldn't fit in my small car, manoeuvring in would be an ordeal in a small Hyundai i20. Her electric wheelchair wouldn't fit in my boot either.

    Since her adapted family car was in the shop, I said I'd go on the bus with her.

    When the bus arrived, there was a small foldable stroller style buggy in the disabled bay, the child was walking up and down the bus and was not in the buggy.

    When politely asked to move, the mother ignored us and the driver and didn't even look up from her phone. We had to disembark and wait for the next bus. We (just about) made her appointment slot.

    What's the legal (or moral) situation about these spaces?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,821 ✭✭✭ nudain


    Wheel-chair accessible taxi would have been the way to go, bud. You mustn't be that fond of her, sticking her on a bus. In a pandemic, no less.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 426 ✭✭ Eleven Benevolent Elephants


    nudain wrote: »
    Wheel-chair accessible taxi would have been the way to go, bud. You mustn't be that fond of her, sticking her on a bus. In a pandemic, no less.

    Her car was taken at short notice.

    Only a handful of taxis here, most want booking in advance.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,821 ✭✭✭ nudain


    Sure. Have fun with your thread.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭ .anon.


    Maybe the driver could have been more assertive. I find that if I have to ask a passenger to do something (move from a particular seat, stop harassing someone, leave the bus, wear a mask, fold their buggy, etc), switching the engine off beforehand and then refusing to switch it back on again until they comply pretty much always works. It immediately draws the attention (and ire) of the other passengers onto them, and they essentially do the job for me.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,770 ✭✭✭ GT89


    What's the legal situation? Do wheelchairs users have priority?

    The other day I was assisting a disabled family member to a medical appointment. She is quite a large framed lady and wouldn't fit in my small car, manoeuvring in would be an ordeal in a small Hyundai i20. Her electric wheelchair wouldn't fit in my boot either.

    Since her adapted family car was in the shop, I said I'd go on the bus with her.

    When the bus arrived, there was a small foldable stroller style buggy in the disabled bay, the child was walking up and down the bus and was not in the buggy.

    When politely asked to move, the mother ignored us and the driver and didn't even look up from her phone. We had to disembark and wait for the next bus. We (just about) made her appointment slot.

    What's the legal (or moral) situation about these spaces?

    The driver has no responsibility to get the buggy user to fold up the buggy. The drivers job is to operate the bus in a safe and efficient manner not police the buggy space.

    Personally if I were a wheelchair user I would leave extra time for my journey although that is wrong and should not be the case unfortunately until buggies are either banned off buses full stop unless folded up or buses are bought with multiple wheelchair spaces this situation will continue.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭ .anon.


    GT89 wrote: »
    The driver has no responsibility to get the buggy user to fold up the buggy.

    The driver, along with all the other passengers on the bus, has a moral responsibility to ensure that a wheelchair user isn't left on the side of the road because some selfish parent won't fold their buggy.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,477 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    i can't see any easy answer to this; if the bus has been designed with a space dedicated to a wheelchair *or* a buggy (but not both at the same time); how can you mandate how a valid user already on the bus should react to another valid user also needing the same space? and how do you decide what is 'valid' beyond the physical presence of an infant in a buggy at boarding.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,023 ✭✭✭ alias no.9


    I've been the parent with the buggy, folding/stowing the buggy and take the child on your lap is the decent thing to do. Both parties can complete their journeys. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of assholes out there.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,770 ✭✭✭ GT89


    .anon. wrote: »
    The driver, along with all the other passengers on the bus, has a moral responsibility to ensure that a wheelchair user isn't left on the side of the road because some selfish parent won't fold their buggy.

    Currently it's not mandatory for buggy users to fold up or move spaces if a wheelchair user needs to board. Radioing the bus behind to make sure the wheelchair is clear on that bus is more than enough as to any moral responsibility of the driver.

    Have you not been assaulted or threatened at some stage in your bus driving career due to taking this approach?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭ .anon.


    GT89 wrote: »
    Have you not been assaulted or threatened at some stage in your bus driving career due to taking this approach?

    Nope. People tend not to feel very brave when you've turned the other passengers against them.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,770 ✭✭✭ GT89


    .anon. wrote: »
    Nope. People tend not to feel very brave when you've turned the other passengers against them.

    But those will be the first to pick up the phone to complain generally


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭ .anon.


    GT89 wrote: »
    But those will be the first to pick up the phone to complain generally

    I've never had a complaint made against me. Or if I have, it wasn't serious enough for me to be told about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,659 ✭✭✭ BowWow


    GT89 wrote: »
    The driver has no responsibility to get the buggy user to fold up the buggy. The drivers job is to operate the bus in a safe and efficient manner not police the buggy space.

    Sorry, IMO it is the driver's job to police the buggy space..


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,253 ✭✭✭ john boye


    I kind of feel this has always been a grey area since low floor buses were first introduced all those years ago and it's something that DB (or whoever was in charge then) should have set out clearly from the start, that wheelchair users get priority. Instead we just sort of meandered through to the point now where we even have a dedicated buggy space too and it's still not very clear who gets the wheelchair space.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,659 ✭✭✭ BowWow


    GT89 wrote: »
    Personally if I were a wheelchair user I would leave extra time for my journey....

    Yep, you're right It was the wheelchair user's fault and not the selfish mother, sorry.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,770 ✭✭✭ GT89


    BowWow wrote: »
    Yep, you're right It was the wheelchair user's fault and not the selfish mother, sorry.

    In an ideal world obivously the buggy user would move or fold it up without even needing to be asked unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,683 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    On the 45a, bray, woman in a wheelchair, buggies at the stop too, AX so only one space I put the ramp out and asked others to stand back, got wheelchair user on, 2 buggies then follow suit, I asked nicely to fold as not enough space, I was abused, recorded and photographed.....

    Same getting off.

    One of the scum bags had her pussy boyfriend on the phone and he took it upon himself to wait for me on the main Street in bray..... On my run back to Dun Laoghaire... Edit

    He wanted a fight and wouldn't allow me to proceed further, not one person helped or told him to f off, 3 Garda cars arrived in the fastest time I've ever had and he was removed but no further action even though there was death threats etc ....


    This wasn't the 1st time and won't be the last.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,683 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    Biggest issues are discrimination and we don't know if the child has a disability or is unwell etc etc....


    Also with the pc brigades and other issues in the now we live in many see men as a danger to their child etc etc....


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,288 ✭✭✭✭ Gatling


    Unfortunately thanks to a court case it's first come first served ,you can ask the mother to fold nicely but there is no legal obligation to do so ,

    Langley , Virginia



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,821 ✭✭✭ nudain


    "Quote: Eleven Benevolent Elephants

    A man falsely accused suffers more than a rape victim."

    Just for the record, the OP posted that a few hours ago. Not too sure he's bothered about his imagined bus troubles.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,845 ✭✭✭ Antares35


    Legally I don't think there's much that can be done, but morally you'd think that the buggy should not be given preference. A child can be taken out and the buggy folded. Am assuming it would be decidedly more difficult to fold a wheelchair and sit the user.on ones lap. If it was me, I wouldn't hesitate to move my child and buggy if a wheelchair user got on. Sadly we live in a world of selfish, self-entitled people who think what they "are allowed" to do is the same as what they should do.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,845 ✭✭✭ Antares35


    BowWow wrote: »
    Sorry, IMO it is the driver's job to police the buggy space..

    I don't see why a driver should risk being abused for the sake of trying to get people to do the decent thing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,398 ✭✭✭✭ anewme


    It's also about how you approach people. Agressive contrary people dont get anywhere and result in people digging their heels in. I feel for the driver facing this scenario.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,770 ✭✭✭ GT89


    anewme wrote: »
    It's also about how you approach people. Agressive contrary people dont get anywhere and result in people digging their heels in. I feel for the driver facing this scenario.

    It's quite simple for the bus driver really though. Ask the buggy user politely to move or fold up the buggy if the answer is yes deploy the ramp and let wheelchair user on or if answer is no then refuse the wheelchair and continue with the journey.

    I reccomend people on the thread give this video a watch as it gives the subject of the thread the outlook from a bus drivers perspective. Although this is set in the United States the same thing can be appplied in Ireland.
    https://youtu.be/s4QWCngZdu0


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,552 ✭✭✭ bigpink


    No doubt a scummy mother


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,315 ✭✭✭ JustAThought


    bigpink wrote: »
    No doubt a scummy mother

    Plenty of them out there. Shocked by this scenario tbh and that of the bus driver in Bray. Wheelchair users should be given top priority IMO - a child can be carried /sat on a lap there is zero excuse.

    Also some bus routes are used by wheelchair users including young wheelchair user teenagers being independent & going to a central venue like a day centre or youth club -
    they are forced off public transport as two or
    more wheelchair users going to the same end destination can’t use the same bus route at the same time . Its pretty harsh and riduculous and makes being thier parwnt
    or carer even harder. Try telling a ‘norml’ teenager they had to wait for a later bus and can’t travel with their friends by bus into town or to school independently - they’d be a national outcry. And yet we talk about public transport, care in the community and so called community living and integration.

    Ministers for disability and public transport l,
    helloOooo


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 426 ✭✭ Eleven Benevolent Elephants


    nudain wrote: »
    "Quote: Eleven Benevolent Elephants

    A man falsely accused suffers more than a rape victim."

    Just for the record, the OP posted that a few hours ago. Not too sure he's bothered about his imagined bus troubles.

    What does that have to do with this situation?

    If you're trying to imply I'm lying there's a report button.


  • Registered Users Posts: 126 ✭✭ FitzElla


    Obviously doesn't apply in the OP case as the child was walking around. But depending on the buggy it might take 2 hands to fold it down. If a parent is on their own with a new born baby they don't really have many options. Either they get off the bus to make space or stay where they are. They might equally be on their way to a hospital appointment so it is not always black and white.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,998 ✭✭✭✭ AlekSmart


    What's the legal situation? Do wheelchairs users have priority?

    The other day I was assisting a disabled family member to a medical appointment. She is quite a large framed lady and wouldn't fit in my small car, manoeuvring in would be an ordeal in a small Hyundai i20. Her electric wheelchair wouldn't fit in my boot either.

    Since her adapted family car was in the shop, I said I'd go on the bus with her.

    When the bus arrived, there was a small foldable stroller style buggy in the disabled bay, the child was walking up and down the bus and was not in the buggy.

    When politely asked to move, the mother ignored us and the driver and didn't even look up from her phone. We had to disembark and wait for the next bus. We (just about) made her appointment slot.

    What's the legal (or moral) situation about these spaces?

    To address the first two (perhaps secondary ?) points in the OP.

    The Legality is dealt with under the "Equal Status Act 2000-2018" (ESA) and various amendments to date..

    http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2000/act/8/enacted/en/print.html

    It is of note that "Disability",is only one of the many grounds covered by the ESA.

    Given that the Busdriver in this case,presumably deployed the access ramp,to embark your relative,any grounds for proving discrimination might be difficult to show.

    Legally a Busdriver does Not have any specific right to force another bone fide passenger to vacate the specific space to accomodate a Wheelchair user.

    The Operators responsibility extends to providing a suitable vehicle,with specific means of access and clearly marked sections,in addition to a Staff members who have recieved specific training in Disability Awareness and to operate the equipment.

    After that,it is First Come - First Served.

    Depending on the Bus type,there may be space for BOTH an occupied buggy AND a Wheelchair.

    Assuming it was a Dublin Bus provided service,there may be further relevant information here...

    https://www.dublinbus.ie/Your-Journey1/Accessibility/Passengers-with-buggies/
    If someone in a wheelchair wishes to board when there is an unfolded buggy in the wheelchair space, the driver will ask you to fold the buggy and either put it in the luggage space or keep it by your side.

    On newer vehicles the situation alters somewhat....
    On all new buses there is both a wheelchair space and a buggy space, buggy owners may use both spaces but the buggy owner in the wheelchair space must move out of this space if a wheelchair user wishes to board the bus.

    Additionally,in relation to Wheelchair users specifically...

    https://www.dublinbus.ie/Your-Journey1/Accessibility/Passengers-using-Wheelchairs/

    It is sometimes overlooked that there is a specific limit on Wheelchair Size & Weight.
    On all low floor buses there is one space for a person using a wheelchair. Wheelchairs can be accomodated up to a size of 70cm wide and 120cm long.

    There are a couple of avenues open to you in relation to having your complaint addressed.

    Whilst your prime concern may be your relative,it appears that you also have an issue with the Busdrivers behaviour,in which case you should make full use of the existing procedures in that company

    There is a general comment/complaint form,also capable of accomodating compliments & suggestions for good service.

    https://www.dublinbus.ie/Contact-Us1/Customer-Comment-Form/

    Also,in your case,there is a specific compliant process unde the ERA whereby issues can be raised and investigated.

    https://www.dublinbus.ie/Your-Journey1/Accessibility/Inquiry-Officer/

    If your issues refer to a Go-Ahead Ireland operated service then the contacts are different...

    The overall relevance of the ESA remains,however the relevant bye-laws are available here.

    https://www.nationaltransport.ie/public-transport-services/pso-contracts/bus/public-passengers-transport-services-bye-laws-2019/

    The Operator details: https://www.goaheadireland.ie/contact

    As you can appreciate,there are avenues available for you to seek explanations or other forms of redress,none of which are available on a discussion forum.

    Please keep the thread informed ?


    Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

    Charles Mackay (1812-1889)



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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,677 ✭✭✭ strandroad


    FitzElla wrote: »
    Obviously doesn't apply in the OP case as the child was walking around. But depending on the buggy it might take 2 hands to fold it down. If a parent is on their own with a new born baby they don't really have many options. Either they get off the bus to make space or stay where they are. They might equally be on their way to a hospital appointment so it is not always black and white.

    It's a badly designed system for all; the problem does not exist where bendy buses are used, with their multiple doors and bays at each door.


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