Wheelchair bus battle mum says pushchairs must move
A FRUSTRATED mother says she struggles to get her disabled daughter to school – because she cannot find a space for her wheelchair on a bus.
Each morning, Nicola Windsor says she has to try three or four buses to secure a space for Alannamae, 6, who suffers from spina bifida.
Nicola, 26, of west Hull, says the space left for wheelchairs is usually occupied by prams, which parents and drivers refuse to move.
She said: "The sign on the buses clearly say that wheelchairs have priority over prams and pushchairs.
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"One day, about three weeks ago, I went to get on a bus and there was a pushchair in the space at the front for wheelchairs.
"The kid must have been about three and could have easily stood up while the mum collapsed the pushchair.
"I asked her if it was possible for her to move it and she refused, then started swearing at me. The drivers should insist they move the pushchairs, but they don't."
Nicola seeks to catch a Stagecoach bus from Beverley Road.
She needs it to take her two daughters Alannamae and Reanna Ali, 5, to Newland St John's Primary School in Beresford Avenue, north Hull.
But she says on many occasions she either has to arrive at the stop at 6.40am, or risk her children being late for school.
She said: "I've sent letters to Stagecoach and even called into their reception, but I've never had a response.
"Every time I follow it up, they say they haven't received anything.
"I don't know what else to do now.
"Something needs to be done.
"What is the point of having the sign giving priority to wheelchairs if everyone ignores it?
"I'm worried the situation is only going to get worse in winter."
Stagecoach said there was no record of Nicola's complaints.
A spokesman said: "We are concerned to hear of the problems that Ms Windsor has experienced when trying to use our services with her daughter.
"Most of our buses that operate in Hull have a dedicated space for a wheelchair-user to travel in.
"If a wheelchair-user wishes to board one of our services and the dedicated space is occupied by non-wheelchair users, we would expect our drivers to politely ask those individuals to relocate to another part of the bus.
"We have checked our records and it would appear that Ms Windsor has not contacted us directly to report the matter.
"We would welcome Ms Windsor getting in touch, so that we can investigate her complaint more thoroughly, once we have the specific details of the services she has tried to catch."