Disabled Sheffield bus users hit out at drivers

Discrimination: Margaret Taylor and husband John, a double amputee who had to beg a Stagecoach bus driver to let the access ramp down for him.              PICTURE: STEVE ELLIS
Discrimination: Margaret Taylor and husband John, a double amputee who had to beg a Stagecoach bus driver to let the access ramp down for him. PICTURE: STEVE ELLIS
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THE furious wife of a Sheffield wheelchair user has accused a bus driver of ‘humiliating’ her double amputee husband after refusing to fold out a ramp so he could get on board.

Great grandparents Margaret Taylor, aged 79, and her husband John, 81, had been trying to get the number 78 bus home from Hillsborough Park to Burncross, which they catch because the buses have low-floor and access ramps.

Mrs Taylor said the driver initially claimed the ramp was broken and it took a 10-minute row in front of other passengers before the ramp was lowered.

Her husband, a retired engineering worker who lost both legs due to illness, was then allowed aboard, she claims.

Mrs Taylor, who has complained to operator, Stagecoach, said: “The driver kept saying the ramp was broken when I could see it wasn’t –it’s a hinged ramp that just folds out.

“The bus only runs every half hour so we would have been waiting ages for another.

“We had a few words with the driver and he eventually got the ramp out after about 10 minutes. It was humiliating for an 81-year-old double amputee to be treated like this.”

Mrs Taylor said the driver suggested the couple catch another service but the 77 and 66 which serve Burncross do not always have low floors.

Sue Hayes, operations director, for Stagecoach Yorkshire, said they were investigating the claims.

She added: “Disability Awareness and social inclusion training is of the utmost importance to Stagecoach in Sheffield and forms a core part of our intensive driver training programme.”

Meanwhile, another wheelchair user has hit out at his treatment on a Sheffield bus.

Richard Fletcher, 35, of Chapeltown, claims he was told he could not take his fold-up wheelchair on board the number 77.

He said: “I was told the bus was full and I couldn’t take the chair on board. There was enough room for it.

The driver’s attitude was disgraceful.

Mr Fletcher complained to First and has been sent a letter to show to bus drivers explaining his position but he is also seeking legal advice.