A few months ago, I wrote about my delight when a gentleman in a wheelchair got a court to recognise that wheelchairs should take priority over buggies when it comes to the wheelchair spaces on buses. I thought, perhaps over the time, bus companies might reflect on the ruling and feedback to their drivers.
Sadly, it seems not and if anything, attitudes are getting worse. Last week, I was waiting for a bus with my Mum which was running quite late. When it eventually arrived, the driver was less than pleased to see me waiting in my wheelchair. From his seat, he told me the bus was full and there was no way I could get on. Deep breathe, as I told him that it was his responsibility to make room for me. He refused to accept it. He decided, probably to prevent any further delays, to let me on but refused to talk to any of my fellow passengers or to ensure that I was safely in the wheelchair space.
My mum had gone ahead of me and done his job for him. She had politely asked one of the buggies to move and the request was accepted without issue. So why couldn’t and wouldn’ t the driver do this?
To make matters even worse, when we got off the bus, I asked Mum to take a photo of the front of the bus and the driver deliberately pulled the bus away from the bus stop despite having passengers waiting to get on. He wanted to treat me like a second class citizen AND get away with it.
As I said in my last post on the issue, court rulings are all well and good but until attitudes change and people like this driver learn to respect disabled people, nothing will change and disabled people will have to constantly fight inequality.