Nottingham

Newark wheelchair user not allowed on bus

A bus company has apologised after a Nottinghamshire wheelchair user was told she could not get on a bus.

Karen McPhail and her husband Peter tried to board the low floor bus after a shopping trip but were told it was unsafe by the driver.

Mr McPhail, 62, who said the couple had used a similar bus that morning, eventually pushed his wife 2.5 miles (4km) home to Newark.

Stagecoach said not all of its low-floor buses could carry wheelchairs.

It said it was investing in its fleet to ensure all vehicles would be accessible for wheelchair users by 2015.

Mr McPhail said: "It's very upsetting. She's getting very depressed, because she now feels like a second-class citizen."

'Real difficulty'

He added: "To me, it's discrimination if buggies with children in can go on."

A spokesman for Stagecoach East Midlands said: "We are continuing to invest in our fleet to ensure all of our vehicles will be fully accessible to wheelchair users by the required date of 2015.

"We have a small number of early low-floor buses which are not certified by the Department for Transport to carry people in wheelchairs and it would be breaking the law to let drivers take wheelchairs.

"We are working hard to replace these and apologise to Mr and Mrs McPhail for any inconvenience this has caused them."

Ruth Scott, from disability charity Scope, said: "Unfortunately the McPhail story is not unusual.

"We know that significant numbers of disabled people, particularly those with mobility problems have real difficulty in accessing public transport."

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