Not on the buses! Assessment and permits needed for mobility scooters on the bus

Not on the buses! Assessment and permits needed for mobility scooters on the bus

Screenshot 2023 08 08 102250

First Bus has apologised to a holidaymaker from Oxfordshire after he was turned away for having a mobility scooter.
Christopher Smith from Didcot was holidaying in Charmouth and was allowed to board buses to Lyme Regis and back with his class 2 scooter, which he relies on after suffering a stroke.
But the next day a driver on a bus to Bridport told him he couldn’t travel without an assessment and a permit.
He said: “I must say that the drivers both ways (to Lyme) could not have been more helpful and understanding to my condition.
“The next day we decided to travel to Bridport on the bus only to be refused access on the bus by an extremely unhelpful driver, who said I was not allowed on. He asked had I been assessed and had I got a permit. Blatantly this is discriminating against the disabled and this is the first time this has happened to me as no local bus company has been so unhelpful.
“I could have understood if the bus place was already occupied by a buggy or wheelchair, but it was not ,and obviously by the faces of people on the upper deck they could not believe what they had just seen.
“We spoke to various people and nobody knew of this ruling. My wife also spoke to a lady at First Buses in Weymouth to find out what was going on. She was told that all the information was on the website. A permit could be obtained, which would involve an assessment and would take about 20 days, not really much use to me whilst on a week’s holiday, in fact not being able to use the local buses ruined our week away.”
A First Bus South spokesperson said: “We’re sorry to hear of Mr Smith’s recent experience. Like all other bus operators in the UK, for health and safety reasons, it’s our policy that Type 2 mobility scooters require a valid travel permit, issued after assessment to ensure that they can travel safely, without injury or danger to themselves, other passengers, or damage to the vehicle. This scheme is in use across the UK and is supported by the Department for Transport.
“We appreciate Mr Smith was not aware of this, and we apologise for any distress caused. All our drivers receive training in disability awareness and customer service and this includes details of the scooter code.
“We’re happy to provide an assessment for a permit, or support him in obtaining one from his local operator, and as a goodwill gesture we’d like to offer him a week’s free travel on his next visit to Dorset.”

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