Specifically Doug Paulley had taken the case to court after he was denied access when a mother refused to wake her sleeping baby and fold her buggy to allow him to board.
As seen by reading the BBC comments, feelings run high on this issue and there are many misunderstandings and some quite frankly silly questions.
- It is disgraceful that a paying passenger be forcibly removed from a bus for a wheelchair user.
The original ruling said that the company should require parents to do so. The new ruling says that parents can choose whether or not to comply with a request, potentially leaving wheelchair users behind even though there is room on the bus.
- Babies are just as disabled as wheelchair users and have just as much right to the bay.
Babies are not (generally) disabled and with the assistance of their parent, have far more options than disabled people. Disabled people cannot usually get out, fold their wheelchair and go and find a vacant seat. Parents and their babies do have this option. I would however hope that someone might help them hold bags/baby/fold buggy and give them a seat if there is standing room only.
The exception to this is for disabled children/babies who cannot leave their buggies.
It is worth noting that parents used to use buses long before there were disabled bays. These are a necessity for wheelchair users as opposed to a useful convenience for parents.
- It is wrong to expect a mother to stand with the baby in her arms just so a wheelchair can come on board.
- And what if another wheelchair had been on board? Will you sue every time you can't get on board the bus?
This isn't simply about the space being taken and having to wait. This is about the space being taken by a non disabled person who *could* move out of the way but doesn't want to.
- Disabled people want equality but don't like being treated equally!
What would a non disabled person do if someone stood in the doorway and refused to get out of the way?!
- This is no big deal. Disabled people can just catch the next bus!
The end result of this ruling means that although the buses are physically accessible, in practise they are not as I STILL cannot get onboard.
- It doesn't matter as I never see wheelchair users on buses anyway!
- This should never have gone to court. It was just some militant guy trying to get some money.