Brid mum calls for more consideration for wheelchair users

Carolyn and Bethany Stainforth.
Carolyn and Bethany Stainforth.

THE MOTHER of a disabled woman has called for bus drivers to do more to ensure parents fold up their pushchairs to make way for wheelchairs on buses in Bridlington.

Carolyn Staniforth, of Thornton Road has hit out at those who refuse to make way for wheelchairs on public buses, especially on the 501 service that runs between West Hill and the town centre.

Carolyn told the Free Press that on past occasions she has had to push her wheelchair dependant daughter, Bethany Playforth, 18, into town in the rain because pushchairs were taking up the space on board the bus designated for wheelchairs.

The most recent incident happened a couple of weeks weeks ago when Carolyn and Bethany, who is mentally and physically disabled and uses a specially adapted wheelchair, had planned to visit the cinema.

“We went up to the bus stop and there was a lady on there with a pushchair and she wouldn’t move so we had to walk,” Carolyn said.

“I rang up the bus company and they said the only thing they can do is ask the person if they would put the pushchair down.”

“That’s discrimination against wheelchair users. There are signs there to say the priority is for wheelchair users, not pushchairs,” she added.

Now Carolyn has called on East Yorkshire Motor Services, the bus company responsible for the route, to take firmer action with those customers who refuse to collapse their pushchairs to make way for wheelchair users.

Carolyn relies on public transport for her and her daughter because she cannot drive.

“When it comes down to it they don’t do anything for wheelchairs. The bus drivers are lovely but they don’t want to get into a confrontation,” she added.

Carolyn’s concerns have been raised just days after the Free Press told of mum Emma Jordan who says she had been on the receiving end of abuse while travelling on buses in Bridlington simply for having a pushchair.

EYMS commercial services manager Bob Rackley said last week that bus drivers would always ask parents to fold up their buggies if they were taking up space needed by wheelchair users.