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“Please help me persuade Transport for London to make disabled bus access a reality” – Chris Burroughes

Description

Chris Burroughes

On 27 Feb I reported as follows to TFL complaints website: -Using my Freedom Pass, I hailed two 91 buses in succession in the northbound direction at the south-east corner of Russel Square. Both refused to allow me to board with my small mobility scooter. Having now checked on the TFL website I see that there is a maximum size limit of 70 x 120 cm. Mine is 55 x 101 cm. Scooters with handlebars are not allowed; mine only has a steering tiller. Therefore it was compliant with your regulations. With the second bus I repeated my request, stating that I was permitted to use the bus, and had been allowed to do so on the journey into London. I explained that I would be stranded in cold weather if refused travel, and that he needed to find a solution. He again refused to let me board. Only when I refused to allow the bus to proceed without me did he agree to radio his controller, who then gave permission and I completed my journey.
To avoid this situation arising again, please would you confirm in writing that I am eligible to travel on TFL buses. I have a photo of me on my scooter, correctly positioned in the wheelchair bay, to demonstrate that it is practical to travel in this way.
I would like to remind you of the DDA/SEA duty on public bodies to promote disabled access, and of the Mayor of London's current campaign to encourage people with disabilities to use their travel opportunities.

It is now 12 March and I have not had an acknowledgment.

Problem History

  • 1 Chris Burroughes reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 17:41 12 Mar 2012
  • 2 Chris Burroughes wrote to Transport for London close 17:41 12 Mar 2012

    Here is the letter that Chris Burroughes wrote.

    Disability discrimination and refusal to respond to complaint

    On 27 Feb I reported as follows to TFL complaints website: -Using my Freedom Pass, I hailed two 91 buses in succession in the northbound direction at the south-east corner of Russel Square. Both refused to allow me to board with my small mobility scooter. Having now checked on the TFL website I see that there is a maximum size limit of 70 x 120 cm. Mine is 55 x 101 cm. Scooters with handlebars are not allowed; mine only has a steering tiller. Therefore it was compliant with your regulations. With the second bus I repeated my request, stating that I was permitted to use the bus, and had been allowed to do so on the journey into London. I explained that I would be stranded in cold weather if refused travel, and that he needed to find a solution. He again refused to let me board. Only when I refused to allow the bus to proceed without me did he agree to radio his controller, who then gave permission and I completed my journey.
    To avoid this situation arising again, please would you confirm in writing that I am eligible to travel on TFL buses. I have a photo of me on my scooter, correctly positioned in the wheelchair bay, to demonstrate that it is practical to travel in this way.
    I would like to remind you of the DDA/SEA duty on public bodies to promote disabled access, and of the Mayor of London's current campaign to encourage people with disabilities to use their travel opportunities.

    It is now 12 March and I have not had an acknowledgment.

  • 3 [email address] responded to Chris Burroughes close 17:45 12 Mar 2012
    Thank you for your email. We can now confirm that this has been
    received.

    For further information about the Surface Transport Complaints
    and Feedback Policy including timescales, please see
    [1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...

    Problems with roadworks or other street faults? In support of
    the Mayor’s Streetworks Code of Conduct to help cut congestion,
    please report these issues by visiting
    [2]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...

    show quoted sections

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...
    2. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...
  • 4 Chris Burroughes commented close 23:05 23 Apr 2012

    TfL sent a response which did not answer my questions. On 21 March I wrote again<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>
    I have heard nothing back

  • 5 Chris Burroughes commented close 23:12 23 Apr 2012

    following FixMyTransport's support TfL wrote back to me but did not answer the questions.
    I wrote"Dear Ms ******
    Thank you for your reply.

    I’m not sure that you appreciate that being taken on the outward journey, but then refused a journey home, is not just “low customer service” but quite frightening and a serious risk for a vulnerable disabled person in cold weather. Nor do you acknowledge that TFL did not respond to my initial complaint dated 27 Feb.

    In my e-mail I asked TFL to state in writing what the policy is in case of future problems. It isn’t clear, when you say that “at present drivers do not have to carry a scooter”, who makes this decision and on what basis. Presumably the bus company and the drivers have to work under TFL policies & contracts. Nor is it clear what definition of wheelchair and scooter you are using

    I can appreciate that that there must be some restrictions. However, the TFL website describes some of the criteria used for exercising this discretion; the wheelchair space available, the size & shape of the scooter/wheelchair, how full the bus is &c. I assume this forms part of the Metroline contract. My scooter/wheelchair fitted within all these criteria, so the drivers or bus company were exercising their discretion outside the TFL policy in an arbitrary & discriminatory manner. I don’t think it is enough to “remind drivers to try and allow scooter users on board wherever possible or safe to do so”.

    Please would you send me the TFL Policy, in writing, in case of future problems, with the appropriate definitions?
    Could you let me know what TFL is doing to ensure that the bus companies comply with the SEA/DDA, TFL policy & the contract?

    Unsrprisingly they have not answered.

  • 6 Myf Nixon commented close 09:48 24 Apr 2012

    Hello Chris,

    We've found that TfL are generally very good at responding to customers (via FixMyTransport and generally), but they do sometimes get caught up in a backlog that means responses take a while to come through.

    However, it might be worth giving them a nudge, since it's been six weeks. If you open up comment 3 on this page, you'll see a button marked 'reply to this message by email' - that will allow you to reply to TfL and keep the email thread intact.

    Good luck, I think this is a worthy cause, and if you don't get satisfaction from TfL it may be time to contaact your local councillor.

    anorak
    admin
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  • started 12 March 2012
  • supporters 4
Theobalds Rd Southampton Row (Stop Y) bus stop in Bloomsbury
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