Friday 20 January 2017

A Disabled Woman Was Told She Couldn’t Board A Bus Because There Was A Buggy In The Way

Kerdesan Gallardo

Kerdesan Gallardo was trying to get on the packed bus outside the Supreme Court in London when she was turned away because a buggy was in the priority space.

The disability campaigner had just minutes before watched as a new decree stating that wheelchair users should be given priority over mothers with baby buggies on buses was ruled.

Shocking footage shows Kerdesan, a member of the Transport For All campaign group, attempting to board the 148 to Shepherd’s Bush in her wheelchair.

She points out to the driver that an empty buggy in the priority space is blocking her from getting on. Kerdesan was told she was being ‘unreasonable’ by a bus passenger

But when the driver goes upstairs to find the mum, who appears to refuse to budge, passengers begin fuming at Kerdesan.

One woman says: “What I’m saying to you is you’re being unreasonable.

“Suppose the lady came downstairs and put her two kids in the buggy, what would you do? She’s a priority as well, she’s got two kids.”

As Kerdesan discusses the situation with media outside court, the mum removes the buggy from the space off camera.

Kerdesan Gallardo

The woman then says: “Come on the bus, we’re waiting for you. Come on the bus, you’re holding up the bus for everybody.”

It comes after bus drivers were told they have to do more to force non-wheelchair users to vacate the priority space if a disabled person needs it.

Previously, the area was viewed as a first come, first served basis between the disabled, parents with children and elderly people.

The landmark case was started by wheelchair user Doug Paulley after he was left a bus stop because a woman with a sleeping baby refused to move her pushchair when asked by the driver.

Doug, from Wetherby, West Yorks, said outside court after winning the battle: “I am absolutely delighted. It has been a long fight.”

Kerdesan Gallardo

He had argued against FirstGroup’s policy of “requesting but not requiring” non-disabled passengers, including those with buggies, to vacate a space if it is needed by a wheelchair user.

The Supreme Court’s president, Lord Neuberger, said the policy of simply “requesting” was unjustified.

He said if a bus driver believes a person’s refusal to give up a space is unreasonable they should consider a further step to pressurise the traveller, depending on circumstances.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission, which supported the campaigner, said the Supreme Court decision was “a victory for disabled people’s rights”.



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