Monday, July 12, 2010

Bus Driver Refuses To Help Disabled Woman: MEN July 12th 2010


Bus driver refuses to help disabled woman. MEN July 12th 2010



A bus driver was caught on camera refusing to help a wheelchair-bound woman get off his single-decker.  Renu Duggal, an award-winning disability rights campaigner, has slammed the driver for ignoring her pleas to put a ramp out so she could get off the bus at Piccadilly.
She said the First bus driver said he could not operate the electronically-powered ramp because he had a 'bad back' and argued that it was not his legal duty. 

Her son Arjun, who was with her at the time, filmed the incident on his mobile phone. In the video, the driver can be seen covering his face with a timetable while a voice can be heard suggesting Renu be wheeled off backwards.

Eventually, people at the bus stop helped Arjun, 17, drag the wheelchair off.

Bosses at First have apologised and launched an inquiry.

Renu, 46, said: “I was very upset. It made me so sad. Why would you not attempt to help someone in a wheelchair? I’m fed up with getting treated like this.”  Renu, of Briarfield Road, Timperley, Altrincham, formed the Our Independence group to help disabled people make friends and won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for her efforts. 

Renu went to get on the 135 service on Cheetham Hill Road.  The driver made no move to get out of his cabin to operate the ramp, so Arjun did it himself – and was criticised by the driver.
When the bus arrived at Piccadilly, Arjun asked the driver to put the ramp out but again he refused. Arjun said: “I’ve never met anyone so rude. I decided to film it then because otherwise he would’ve just got away with it.”

Department for Transport guidance states bus drivers ‘must, wherever reasonable, assist a wheelchair user or other disabled person if they ask’. It also says drivers ‘must make a boarding device available when a disabled person wants to get on or off’.





13 comments:

Beachcomber said...

I wish I could write "unbelievable" and mean it; sadly its all too believable.

Arienette said...

As beachcomber said, totally believable, but totally disgusting. How could ANY person treat a wheelchair user like that?
Actually, I've heard people loudly complain about wheelchair users on buses for daring to, oh my god, get on the bus. Terrible.

Lankylonglegs-Jo said...

Just about sums up a lot of people's attitude towards the disabled in general.
I most sincerely hope that this disgraceful and pathetic excuse for a human being is severely humiliated and punished for his behaviour. I personally would like to see him lose his job over this...after all he does declare a "bad back", let him try it from the other side of the fence to see how he likes it!

Anonymous said...

Why is his bad back put in quotations? Is a bad back not a serious condition?

Or is it like top trumps?

"my non functioning legs trump your bad back, so you have to help me at the risk of your own health"

Maybe her son should have helped her rather than whipping his compo catcher out.

Dave the Dog said...

Anonymous 5:15pm

All he had to do was get out of his seat and press a button. FFS.

Friendly Neighbourhood Grammar Nazi said...

Wow. I, uhh, live in Manchester and get those First buses quite regularly. Getting a wheelchair next week...was already feeling quite worried and embarrassed (and fraudulent, as I *can* technically walk) about it. Very concerned now. :(

steph said...

That's appalling!

But what I don't understand is why Arjun didn't operate the ramp again himself?

Anonymous said...

To be fair to the driver (and this video doesn't look good for him) The bus is parked close to the kerb and certainly close enough for a wheelchair to get off backwards safely with the assistance of her son. We also have no idea of anything that has been said to the driver before this point, for all we know the persons concerned could have verbally abused the driver or anything (not saying they did but you can't just judge something from one video), also the driver must get out of his/her cab to assist a disabled person unless they fear for their safety. Not judging, but at 9pm in central Manchester with cash in the cab it could be said leaving the cab would be unsafe and it would be safer for the passengers helper to assist. Also if the driver has to get out of the cab to operate the ramp it is unlikely to be an electric ramp but rather a manually operated ramp that if the driver has a bad back would prevent him from deploying the ramp, this is more a case for the bus company as to whether a driver with a bad back is fit to do the job.

My point, don't judge something without knowing the whole story, which only the driver, the lady and her helper know!

Lankylonglegs-Jo said...

@ Anonymous in answer to this.." Anonymous said...
Why is his bad back put in quotations? Is a bad back not a serious condition?"

I was not suggesting that having a bad back is in any way a lesser complaint or that it should be given less consideration.

My inference was more that I personally do not believe that this driver actually has a bad back at all, I felt that by what I had seen he was instead too lazy to get off his butt and help out.

Why should the passengers have to help?
Why should the lady's son have to yank the ramp or press buttons himself when Health and Safety regs scream at us daily to never interfere at the risk of prosecution etc?
Why, if this driver really does have a medical condition was he there in the first place? Surely driving all day would be the worse thing to do if that were the case?
If the law says that the driver must comply and aid disabled passengers, then they should do JUST that.

Everything I write is MY personal opinion, if people don't care for my comments then I guess they will just have to ignore them :)

Casdok said...

Im with you Lanky.
I hope this goes futhur.

AnthonyB430 said...

Dont blame the driver one bit for not getting out the cab!!!! The platform is extremely close to the height of the kerb!!!being disabled doesnt give you a right to take the p**s !!shame on you!!hope the driver wasnt disaplined over this little hitlers unfounded actions.

relphi said...

I adapt cars for disabled drivers, and I used to be a bus driver. It's wrong of the driver to not assist from a 'decent person' point of view, but it is not easy being a bus driver as the bus companies don't tend to back them if thier money is stolen, or they have time off for a bad back, they get persecuted by them. Then they spend the day being abused by passengers and motorists, it's not a nice job but he shouldn't allow it to make him a **unhelpfull person**. and if he wasn't fit to do the job, he realy should have taken the day off!

Anonymous said...

I'm 40 years old and have arthritis, diagnosed by a professional with a doctorate and years of hands-on experience. Yet Manchester bus drivers feel it appropriate to take it upon themselves to make their own diagnosis based on looking at me for several seconds then TELL ME "you're not disabled." This happens frequently. It's absolutely disgraceful.